Ericsson Sees 3.5 Billion Mobile Broadband Users By 2015

Mobile Internet use is on the rise. If you follow technology at all, that's no surprise to you, but you may be taken aback by just how quickly the technology could become a household mainstay. It didn't take too long for the television to sweep across the world, and the Internet is getting there at an even faster rate. Mobile broadband is one luxury that most in the world are still living without, but to say it's not a booming market would be a mistake. Many avid travelers still feel that Internet access everywhere is their most important travel asset (yes, even over food), and now Ericsson is putting out some figures that are causing folks to take a good, hard look at where WWAN is going.

If you look at the market place, you'll find WWAN just about everywhere, even in sub-$400 netbooks. Mobile broadband is no longer a business-only need; many consumers are so socially connected that having a constant line to the web makes sense as an investment. It's also becoming cheaper for users to get online via cellular data networks, and Ericsson is estimating that the number of people that use mobile broadband to surf will rise from  around 400 million today to 3.5 billion by 2015.

2015 isn't that far off, and there's a huge gap between 400m and 3.5b. According to their research, "global mobile broadband use in the next five years would leap to the same level as the use of second-generation mobile phone services (voice and text messaging) today." Ericsson chief executive Hans Vestberg stated: "We have just seen the beginning of the massive data growth, driven by smart phones and other mobile devices. It's important for us to follow this development."

We'd say! Ericsson is a major, major infrastructure provider, so they'll likely benefit immensely from this growth if it pans out this way. Regardless, we're confident that WWAN use is only going to rise; the real question is how much.