Increased mobile phone recycling could be on the cards in the next few years, as more people look to buy phones that can receive electronic tickets.
A study conducted by Juniper Research has suggested that 750 million people will have either received a mobile ticket, or purchased one using their handsets by 2015 – the equivalent of one in eight mobile phone users.
Considering that only one in 20 smartphone owners currently benefit from this service, the concept is clearly expected to take off in the next four years.
Analysts at the research firm believe that the emergence of near field communication (NFC) technology could be a catalyst behind the new wave of people receiving virtual tickets.
It was also noted that phones with specific apps, SMS and mobile web will all contribute to the popularity of the ticketing system.
This latest function is another example as to why the clamour for smartphones shows no sign of slowing down and could be another influencing factor behind people's decision to sell mobile phones in order to buy an upgrade.
Currently, the mobile ticketing system is prominent in the transport sector in countries such as Japan, but it is expected to be rolled out across other areas like sporting events.
Indeed, report author Howard Wilcox indicated that the use of paper-based tickets could be reduced significantly in the future.
"Our research demonstrated that mobile ticketing will change the way that many people buy and obtain their regular, every day tickets that are mostly printed at the moment," he remarked.
"We foresee strong acceptance driven not only by airlines but also cinemas and some sports events: bar coded boarding passes are a clear case in point."
Last month, V3.co.uk reported that Frost & Sullivan bosses predicted that NFC technology would be built in to 53 per cent of all smartphones by 2015.