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Manufacturer Ericsson says that the telecommunications equipment sector will be boosted by mobile broadband.

The firm, which made the prediction while releasing its fourth quarter growth figures, has just axed 5,000 jobs.

But despite the doom and gloom caused by economic conditions of late, Ericsson has suggested to its shareholders that the market for mobile broadband could prove to be its saviour in years to come.

Ericsson chief executive and president, Carl-Henric Svanberg, commented: "2008 was also a breakthrough year for mobile broadband."

He continued: "Communication is a basic human need. It plays a critical role in the development of a sustainable and prosperous society and the positive long-term prospects for the industry remain."

Mr Svanberg predicted a growth in data revenues, which currently make up 20 per cent of mobile operators' total revenues.

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