The worldwide market for mobile advertising will double in 2011 from last year to $3.3 billion, according to the latest research from Gartner.

The wireless industry has talked for years about mobile advertising's massive potential, but the market has been slow to take off even as mobile Web surfing has become much more popular in recent years.

The projected global mobile budget will still represent a very small portion of total ad spending, but will see a sharp growth rate in coming years. Mobile will represent more than 4 percent of total ad spending in 2015, up from 0.5 percent in 2010, Gartner said.

Increasing consumer use of smartphones and tablet computers will drive growth in coming years, according to Gartner analyst Andrew Frank. As the audience increases, he said, it will be easier for marketers to target ads.

This year the Asia-Pacific and Japan region will have the biggest mobile advertising market, with a budget of $1.63 billion, according to the research.

In North America, the next-biggest market, Gartner sees revenue increasing to $5.79 billion in 2015 from a projected $701.7 million in 2011.

(Reporting by Sinead Carew; editing by Lisa Von Ahn)