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Internet to attract 1bn mobile users by 2013

Mobile internet users set to double in the next four years as China leads the way with 85 million mobile broadband users in 2009.

Internet to attract 1bn mobile users  by 2013
A proliferation of web-enabled mobile devices is expected to contribute to a massive rise in mobile broadband use.

The number of mobile internet users is expected to more than double in the next four years, with some 1 billion mobile internet-enabled devices expected to be in use by 2013, compared with 450 million devices in 2009, according to research from US-based analyst IDC.

The most popular online activities of mobile internet users in 2009 were similar to those of other fixed users and included search engines, news, downloading music and videos, email and instant messaging, the report added.

During the next four years, online shopping, web communities and blogs are likely to be significant drivers of mobile internet use, according to IDC. The report also highlighted online business applications and corporate email systems as potential drivers.

"The number of mobile devices with internet access has simply exploded over the last several years," said John Gantz, chief research officer at IDC. "With a wealth of information and services available from almost anywhere, internet-connected mobile devices are reshaping the way we go about our personal and professional lives.

"With an explosion in applications for mobile devices underway, the next several years will witness another sea change in the way users interact with the internet and further blur the lines between personal and professional," he added.

Much of the growth in mobile internet use is expected to come from China, which had almost 85 million mobile devices connected to the internet in 2009, making it the world's biggest mobile internet market.

China also had more internet users than any other country in 2009, with 359 million people using the web last year. This number is expected to grow to 566 million by 2013, according to IDC.

In contract, the United States had 261 million internet users in 2009, a figure that will reach 280 million in 2013. India, meanwhile, will also have one of the fastest growing internet populations, growing almost two-fold between 2009 and 2013.

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