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I'll Take That Broadband Access 'to Go'

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The broadband trend is converging with the mobile trend, yielding rapid proliferation of mobile broadband connections among American consumers. A new report from TNS says 25 percent of households already have mobile broadband, "primarily with cell phones, smartphones and other handheld wireless devices." TNS predicts that mobile-broadband penetration will "accelerate rapidly" as increasing numbers of consumers switch to smartphones.

Mobile broadband is supplementing more than supplanting fixed broadband, which itself saw rapid growth during the past decade.

The report notes that "in the 67 percent of households that already have fixed broadband, 29 percent also have mobile broadband." Households that have both services tend to include high-income married people with children, while "mobile-broadband substitutors" skew young and "budget conscious."

The chart here gives a picture of how mobile broadband is being used by those who've already got it.