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There are set to be more than five billion internet-enabled devices in operation around the world by the end of August, it has been reported.

In a finding which clearly demonstrates the growing importance of broadband technology and online connectivity, IMS Research discovered that the market is continuing to grow at a rapid rate.

To put the five billion figure into perspective, the United Nations recently predicted that the global population will hit the seven billion mark in 2011.

IMS Research noted that the introduction of broadband-enabled mobile devices such as iPads and netbooks is helping internet use to accelerate on a global basis.

And according to the firm, the number of internet-connected appliances is set to reach the 22 billion mark by the end of the decade.

"The potential for greatest growth comes from the third wave [of connected device growth] which will include machine-to-machine deployments," said Ian Weightman, IMS Research President. 

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