Global mobile broadband subscriptions will double to one billion in 2011 and continue growing to hit 3.8 billion in 2015, Ericsson forecasts.
Most of the subscriber growth in 2011 will come from the Asia Pacific region where 400 million users will be added, while North America and Europe will add 200 million apiece.
The growth is being fuelled by a surge in demand for access to the Internet and media services, as greater availability of smartphones and tablet PCs drives a shift in the way consumers access content.
Ericsson cites a TeliaSonera 4G subscriber survey, which found that 23% watch more online TV and 46% access the web more often while on the go, as they make full use of the higher data speeds available.
The vendor predicts HSPA, CDMA and LTE networks will fuel 95% of the growth over the next four years.