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Wireless broadband subscriptions are becoming increasingly popular, with the number topping half a billion at the end of 2010.

This marked a ten per cent increase compared with June 2010, according to data gathered by the OECD, which suggested that the growth was driven by the popularity of smartphones and tablet devices.

The figures also showed a rise in the number of fixed broadband subscriptions, which broke through the 300 million barrier for the first time. However, growth did slow to six per cent year-on-year, the slowest rate in over ten years.

In terms of which nations boast the most broadband connections, the Netherlands and Switzerland were top for fixed lines, with 38.1 subscriptions per 100 households.

Korea is leading the way with wireless subscriptions, with 89.8 per 100 inhabitants, closely followed by France with 84.8 and Sweden with 82.9.

In the UK, wireless broadband adoption is around the 40 per cent mark.

Overall, the OECD average for wireless connections was 41.6 per cent, amounting to a massive 512 million connections in total.

In its Communications Outlook 2011 report, the OECD noted that the broadband and communications sector has performed very well considering the ongoing global financial crisis.

It attributed the sector's success to the growing popularity of broadband bundles, which include telephone and digital TV services. These bundles appeal to consumers' economical natures and also reinforce customer loyalty as they often come with added extras or discounted prices.

The popularity of wireless broadband could be set to soar even further in the future as the Wi-Fi Alliance has allied with the Wireless Broadband Alliance to develop a standard for roaming which will make it easier for people to get online wherever they are in the world.

While the proposal is still in the development stages, the basic premise is that people will be able to access the web on their laptops or smartphones through any network which has a roaming agreement with the home network, much like mobile phones do now.  

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