Emerging markets will 'drive' mobile broadband

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson has said mobile broadband internet subscribers could exponentially rise from 250 million to 2.2 billion in five years' time fuelled by the massive growth in emerging markets.

Torbjorn Possne, senior vice president sales and marketing, told a news conference in Singapore that the growth will be driven by markets in Asia and Latin America.

"Even now, about 50 percent outside Western Europe and U.S. are looking to use mobile broadband," he said. "My guess is the growth will come from emerging markets."

Possne said currently 350 million subscribers are fixed-line broadband users globally, which could also double to 700 million by 2013.

Ulf Ewaldsson, head of Ericsson's radio division, said India is an example of fast growth for the firm.

"In India we are building one base station site every 11 minutes," he said.

Ericsson, a market leader in the telecom services market with an over 10 percent share, expects to see upper single digit growth in the business this year, said Mats Agervi, head of sales and market global services, reiterating an earlier forecast.

He said demand for professional services could exceed growth coming from telecom operators, which dominate the market with annual spending of over $150 billion (76.9 billion).

Jan Signell, president of Ericsson Southeast Asia said he expects broadband subscribers in his region to grow to 40 million in the next few years from 8 million now, with radio playing a key role in that growth.


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