However many of those who have been promised 8MB per second speeds as part of their internet package are receiving substantially slower connections, according to thinkbroadband.com.
"Compared to a couple of years ago the average has gone up," said Andrew Ferguson, editor of thinkbroadband.com. "But the survey shows that whilst a number of providers are marketing products as an 'up to 8Mbps' service, it is clear that some of them have a fair proportion of customers still on fixed 512kbps, 1Mbps or 2Mbps services."
BT Wholesale is developing its own ADSL2+ technology, which will be available in the next two years. "For those of us who don't live in big cities, that will mean we will get the chance at better speeds," said Ferguson.
Meanwhile, one in two cars and one in three notebooks shipped globally in 2011 will have inbuilt communications capabilities, according to a study by Sweden based Berg Insight.
This would dramatically open up the wireless communication market, with mobile broadband enabled device sales exceeding 100 million units per year. In comparison, Berg Insight estimates worldwide shipments of these types of device to reach 23 million units this year.
The firm points to several catalysts for a rise in communication using mobile devices other than phones – such as low cost 2.5G and 3G chipsets that have GPS capabilities and flat rate Internet access tariffs. The study claims that in Europe regulatory initiatives such as the eCall automatic emergency call system and new utility metering will also be important to uptake.
Such a boom in popularity would create lucrative opportunities for retailers, as new waves of products emerge to meet demand in this sector.
“We currently see two strong trends driving demand for wireless M2M and mobile broadband” said Tobias Ryberg, senior analyst at Berg Insight. “Firstly, more and more automobile manufacturers are following GM OnStar, incorporating telematics units as standard equipment in their vehicles. Secondly, the integration of HSPA in notebook PCs is gaining momentum as mobile operators launch high speed HSPA networks.”