The promise of mobile broadband may be enough to persuade many people to sell used phones and invest in a newer model.
Edd Dawson, editor of broadband.co.uk, said the use of the web via handheld devices is increasing, at least partially driven by the rise to prominence of tablets.
However, it is smartphones that are "really driving the use", perhaps thanks to the popularity of products such as the iPhone 4.
"I think the providers have been slightly surprised by the amount of bandwidth that people are consuming and we've seen that change over the past year," explained Mr Dawson.
He added that the amount of internet people get for their money is changing with some operators, so it could be worth making sure of this point prior to signing up for a deal.
Research body Gartner recently said worldwide smartphone sales will reach 468 million this year, up 57.7 per cent from 2010.
Posted by Claire Marshall