More than 50 million mobile phone owners used Opera Mini to browser the web from their handset during January this year.

Opera said users of its mobile browser had surged by 150 percent compared to January 2009.

Opera Mini offers server-side compression, which shrinks web pages by up to 90 percent before loading them on the device.

Opera Mini had more than 50 million users in Januarythis year

Opera said this subsequently speeds up the browsing experience and also saves users a substantial amount of money on their data usage bills.

The browser developer revealed Opera Mini took 28 months to gain its first 10 million users but the last 10 million has taken only three months.

"Our original goal with Opera Mini was to make the web available to everyone, regardless of their network or mobile phone. Fifty million active monthly users is a great start," says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera.

"Opera's innovative nature and its popularity among users will help us make the mobile web even more accessible and attractive to more people across the world."

Research firm Gartner said by 2013, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common web access device worldwide.

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See also: Opera confident Apple will approve Opera Mini