Ericsson president and chief executive Carl-Henric Svanberg has called 2007 a breakthrough year for mobile broadband.
Speaking in Barcelona on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress trade show, Svanberg said broadband benefits society in many ways, not least by the opportunities it opens up to reduce travel and shrink carbon footprints.
Svanberg said: "It is important, if you really want to have a society that works, to use communications to reduce travel and make this planet work for the long perspective."
Svanberg said Ericsson expects to see 3G/HSPA networks rolled out in Africa, India, Latin America, the Middle East and Russia this year.
"We see that, in the 3G networks that we monitor in Europe, data traffic now exceeds voice and accelerates quickly, from between 50 to 1,500 percent depending on the operator's strategy," Svanberg added.
Ericsson has partnered with Telstra to roll out a national high-speed wireless broadband network in Australia, providing HSPA coverage to 99 percent of the population.
Sol Trujillo, chief executive of Telstra, said the network has changed the lifestyle of consumers and business users. He gave the example of breast cancer screening trucks which are able to transmit screening data via HSPA, meaning women don't have to visit a hospital to be screened.
The network has also boosted the average revenue per user, according to Trujillo, who said an average-revenue-per-user differential of more than AU$20 (£9.27) has been maintained for 3G subscribers over 2G subscribers since it launched in October 2006.
As customers move data in real-time, and use devices in different ways, demand for mobile data services is growing, Trujillo said.
"You can now do things with your laptop that you couldn't do before in a real-time environment," Trujillo added.