usage is on the rise as better browsers come to market on smartphones. A report from ABI Research on Thursday predicts that the number of smartphones with highly capable mobile browsers will grow from 130 million today to more than 530 million by 2013.
One of the reasons for the push is that, in the U.S. at least, carriers are offering flat-rate mobile data plans, which makes subscribing to these services more affordable. New 3G networks are also making accessing the mobile Web much faster.
Michael Wolf, ABI research director, said it has been the iPhone and new RIM models which have pushed the idea of browsing the Internet on the go. Apple's iPhone was the first to offer a browser that came even close to matching what a PC can do and Google's Android is doing the same thing. RIM is also releasing new browsers in its latest BlackBerry devices to improve Web browsing.
Browser makers such as Mozilla and Opera have been improving mobile browsers to give wireless users better surfing. This has meant that more Web sites are actually getting traffic from mobile users. More than 3 percent and 10 percent of traffic is now coming from mobile devices, according to Bango, a company that offers a tool for tracking traffic from mobile users.