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Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology will lead to an increase in the number of European mobile broadband users, new research has suggested.

Analysis from research firm Frost & Sullivan has revealed that there will be 22.4 million 3G LTE mobile broadband subscribers in Western European by 2013.

The European mobile broadband report also suggests that continued development of LTE will see the gap between 3G and fixed-line broadband numbers start to close.

Frost & Sullivan noted a recent increase in mobile broadband usage over the past 12 months, with the average customer now downloading over 5GB a month.

This recent growth has been driven by competitive prices from providers and increased availability of high-speed mobile broadband.

Luke Thomas, Programme Manager at Frost & Sullivan, said that price will play a key role in the future of LTE.

"Rather than providing flat-fee unlimited contracts or traffic caps for 3G LTE and mobile WiMAX, operators need to be more innovative with their pricing strategies so as to differentiate themselves from competition but, at the same time, ensure that it is not too complicated or non-transparent for the user to understand," he advised.

Communication minister Stephen Carter recently visited Motorola's LTE development centre in Swindon and suggested that the technology could be used to help the UK meet the goals set out in the Digital Britain report.

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