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The lightning-quick global spread of mobile broadband has been highlighted by new figures from the GSM Association (GSMA).

According to the organisation, which is a global trade association representing more than 750 GSM mobile phone operators, the number of subscribers to mobile broadband (HSPSA) networks has now topped 50 million worldwide.

The statistic appears all the more impressive when it is considered that a year ago, the number stood at just 11 million.

"These figures highlight the global success of mobile broadband and the fact that we are continuing to see greater and greater economies of scale," commented Rob Conway, CEO and member of the board of the GSMA.

"This is driving down the cost of devices and equipment and enabling more and more users across the world to enjoy easy access to media-rich services anywhere at anytime," he added.

It was found that while advertised speeds for mobile broadband fell between 3.6Mb and 7.2Mb, users were more likely to enjoy connections ranging in speed from 1Mb to 5Mb.

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