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Some 500 million customers around the world will be using high speed packet access (HSPA) mobile broadband by the end of June 2011, a new study has indicated.

Broadband industry group GSMA reported that HSPA is not only the most popular 3G technology, but also the fastest growing wireless solution ever.

The organisation said that increased dongle usage and the rapid rate of media tablet adoption will see the number of HSPA mobile broadband users pass the half-a-billion mark.

By the end of next year, the total will exceed one billion, the GSMA stated.

It commented that mobile broadband connections have been one of the few growth drivers for telecoms firms in developed markets.

The GSMA said internet service providers (ISPs) will invest billions in HSPA broadband over the next five years, as super-fast mobile broadband technologies are developed.

It added that mobile operators are also starting to invest in long-term evolution technology, with ISPs now having one million LTE users around the world.

Last month, ABI Research predicted that global mobile broadband revenues will exceed £21 billion within five years.

The firm forecast that the industry will be worth £21.81 billion by 2016, as interest in the mobile internet continues to grow.

ABI Research Enterprise Practice Director Dan Shey said favourable pricing has made it easy for early adopters in the sales, management and professional services segment to add mobile broadband services.

"Pricing will also be incredibly important as more field force personnel are mobilised," he claimed.

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