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The number of mobile broadband subscriptions will exceed one billion this year, it has been reported.

According to Ericsson, the industry will continue to expand at a rapid rate as the popularity of dongle services increases.

The company said the greatest number of subscriptions - around 400 million - is expected to be concentrated in the Asia Pacific region.

Ericsson predicted there will be more than 200 million subscribers in North America and Western Europe respectively by the end of this year.

"Mobile broadband adoption has accelerated with strong growth of smartphones, connected laptops and tablets, supported by the introduction of high-performance networks," the company stated.

"Smartphones' users are increasingly using applications and internet services on the go."

Last month, Ofcom said mobile broadband speeds in the UK are far inferior to those available in other parts of Europe.

The media regulator claimed that the lack of long-term evolution technology is holding back mobile download capabilities

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