PARIS: The number of consumers accessing the mobile web around the world will surpass the fixed-line internet audience in the next two years, IDATE, the research firm, has predicted.

According to the company's estimates, the amount of fixed-line web users worldwide should increase from almost 1.5bn at the end of 2010 to 2.3bn in 2015.

During the same period, the number of people going online via mobile devices is expected to rise from just over 1bn to 2.6bn.

The exact crossover between these two channels is due to occur in 2013, when the mobile internet beats the 2bn user threshold, and moves fractionally ahead of the traditional alternative.

Such a trend will be driven, in particular, by markets like China and India, where wireless handsets are likely to become the primary means of online access for many consumers, rather than more expensive laptops and PCs.

A key benefit following on from the rapid expansion of the internet population should be a "steady" increase in the revenues accruing to digital channels including search, social networks, video and online retail.

IDATE's analysis further suggested the web could take 20.2% of global advertising spend by 2015, or €88bn.

This will result in the internet nearly doubling its share of advertising expenditure in 2008, when the net took 10.4% of the total outlay recorded by brand owners.

Elsewhere, IDATE predicted that ecommerce revenues would top €1.1tr by 2015.

Data sourced from IDATE; additional content by Warc staff