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Continued adoption of mobile broadband services will see the sector grow in importance for providers, Sony Ericsson has said.

Fixed-line operators are expected to see broadband account for more than 30 per cent of total revenue over the next five years – up from the current figure of around 20 per cent.

Sony Ericsson expects growth in the mobile broadband sector to happen "even faster" as providers look to improve services based on customer demand.

The firm made the prediction at the same time as revealing its first quarter results earlier this week. Sales rose by 12 per cent in the first three months of 2009 when compared to the same period in 2008, with strong demand noted from customers in China, India and the US.

In the UK, managed services contracts with Vodafone and T-Mobile's joint venture with Hutch added to success.

Demand for universal broadband networks in several countries was also sited as a positive trend for 2009, which will present networking and infrastructure opportunities for mobile firms.

"We have started the year with good growth ahead of the market and a positive margin trend but with a weaker cash flow," Sony Ericsson's President and Chief Executive Carl-Henric Svanberg said.

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