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The global penetration rate of mobile broadband will almost double over the next five years, it has been reported.

According to research conducted by Idate, mobile broadband coverage will increase from 20 per cent to 37 per cent between 2011 and 2015.

The firm predicted that by the middle of the next decade, 2.67 billion people will have access to web services on the move.

Internet service providers stand to benefit if this becomes a reality – to the tune of £138.5 billion in annual revenues.

"The mobile internet has reached a stage where it is finally taking off in Western Europe and North America," commented Soichi Nakajima, Senior Consultant in Idate's Internet Business Unit.

As such, it is poised to follow the developments seen in Japan for almost a full decade and, to a lesser extent, South Korea, he stated.

Mr Nakajima noted that dongles will continue to add the greatest value for broadband providers – ahead of mobile devices such as smartphones – however, he added that their networks will come under pressure from heavy data usage.

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