National governments need to release more spectrum to support mobile broadband services, it has been claimed.
According to the UN International Telecommunications Union (ITU), internet service providers are in danger of running out of capacity as the popularity of mobile broadband increases.
The body claimed that internet performance could begin to suffer – potentially affecting dongle users – unless action is taken to relieve the strain on 3G networks.
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré noted that in major cities such as London, where there is high demand for mobile broadband, users are becoming frustrated by "chronic problems of network unavailability".
"Robust national broadband plans that promote extra spectrum and the faster roll-out of the fibre networks which are essential to mobile backhaul are vital to support the growing number of data-intensive applications," he commented.
In the UK, it is likely to be 2014 before long-term evolution technology is able to take some of the strain off mobile broadband providers' existing networks.