The GSM Association (GSMA), the global trade association for the mobile industry, has just announced the 32 millionth Mobile Broadband connection, a massive increase from 3 million at the end of March 2007.

High speed internet access through mobile phones is now available in 73 countries across the planet through 166 operators.

The GSMA says Mobile Broadband, or HSPA (high speed packet access), technology continues to gain momentum as more and more operators upgrade their 3G networks with HSPA technology and offer a wide range of HSPA-ready handsets to an increasingly tech-literate consumer audience.

Figures from Wireless Intelligence, show that global Mobile Broadband connections have risen by more than 850% year-on-year.

"The uptake of mobile services such as music and video downloads as well as internet access is being boosted in many countries as users are experiencing the benefits of high-speed Mobile Broadband", said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA.

Over the past 16 months there has also been a "significant increase" in the number of available HSPA-enabled devices, says the GSMA.

The growth of HSPA devices is said to be more than 265%, with 128 devices available in January 2007 and more than 467 available in March 2008.