European operators will invest $14bn (£9bn) in mobile broadband technology in 2010, according to new research from the GSM Association (GSMA).
The research, which was compiled by Deutsche Bank, calculated a combined global spend of $72bn (£46bn) on the technology, with Asia contributing the largest share at $34bn (£21bn) followed by North America with $19bn (£12bn).
Mobile broadband investments will account for 52 per cent of all mobile infrastructure spend by operators over the period, said the GSMA.
High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) connections which facilitate mobile broadband are also set to grow. The GSMA reported that research from analytics firm Wireless Intelligence showed that 342 million connections will be made globally, up from 200 million last year, and that Europe will lead the way with 120 million connections.
Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA, argued that the forecasted investments in mobile broadband reflect the importance the mobile industry places on giving users the ability to access any content on the move at any time.
"HSPA and HSPA+ have become the dominant global technologies, and are set to benefit from a significant proportion of capital investment this year resulting in faster and more reliable services being available around the world," he said.
The level of investment also suggests that operators are aware of the current problems with mobile broadband services. Many users have complained in the past that speeds that can be achieved on the move rarely match those quoted by operators.
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