Wireless technology has always held the promise of changing the way we live, as well as dramatically enriching investors who capitalize on the profitable trends. And while being painfully wrong is always a real possibility, recent statistics show some sectors of the wireless market are seeing dramatic growth.

A new study released by research firm comScore shows that the number of computers using mobile broadband connections in the U.S. was 154% larger in the fourth quarter of 2007 than in Q4 last year. While the number of connections is still small -- only 2.17 million computers -- the increase has all the hallmarks of a hypergrowth phase. The small number of connections, taken with the fact that laptops are expected to outsell desktops in future years, bodes well for continued growth.

This dramatic growth took place in spite of relatively high costs associated with mobile broadband service plans. AT&T (NYSE: T), Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S), and Verizon Wireless, a joint venture between Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD), have most of their plans priced at $40 per month and up. The study confirmed that more affluent demographics dominate current use, with those having incomes of $100,000 or more 37% more likely than average to use mobile broadband. Dropping prices on mobile broadband plans -- as Verizon Wireless has already inched toward -- will further spur growth into mainstream consumer and business markets.

Much of the growth is driven by laptop makers -- such as Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), Lenovo, and Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) -- offering to outfit new laptops with a broadband radio that's ready for activation. The trend is also great news for companies -- like Option NV, Novatel Wireless, and Sierra Wireless -- that create the slim modem cards and USB sticks that install in laptop ports and slots.

Technology companies such as Qualcomm (Nasdaq: QCOM) have been alluding to today's mobile broadband world for years. As a heavy mobile broadband user myself, I think it's great to finally see it arrive. Wireless companies are already placing big bets on the next generation of mobile broadband technologies, which promise an even faster mobile experience.

All this adds up to more opportunities for investors in companies tapping into this growing value chain, from hardware manufacturers to service providers to value-added players such as Smith Micro. As always, a booming market doesn't always translate into a rising stock price, but it sure helps.

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Fool contributor Dave Mock's life got 154% better when he adopted mobile broadband technology. He owns shares of Qualcomm and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Sprint Nextel and Dell are Inside Value recommendations. Dell is also a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy is a tough nut to crack.