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The popularity of mobile broadband services continued to increase during 2010, with data usage almost trebling, it has been reported.

According to research conducted by networking firm Cisco, dongle users contributed to a 2.6-fold increase in data use last year.

The firm predicted that this strong level of growth would continue over the next five years, with an annual growth rate of 92 per cent expected between 2011 and 2015.

Suraj Shetty, Vice-President of Global Marketing at Cisco, commented that consumers and business users continue to demonstrate "a healthy demand" for mobile data services.

"The fact that global mobile data traffic increased 2.6-fold from 2009 to 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row, confirms the strength of the mobile internet," he added.

"Greater mobile broadband access, more content and applications of all types – especially video – are the key catalysts driving this remarkable growth."

Earlier this week, IT analyst Ovum predicted the continued convergence of mobile and fixed-line internet connections, as more internet service providers offer broadband bundles.

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