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Mobile broadband will remain the preserve of a niche market of male early adopters unless manufacturers can develop a way of marketing their products, it has been claimed.

According to Tim Johnson, chief analysts at Point Topic, despite evidence that interest in mobile broadband is not confined to this niche market, at present they make up the majority of its users.

"Just as with mobile phones and the early years of the internet, the early adopters of internet on the move are young male technology enthusiasts" he said.

In order to reach this audience, however, a new and creative approach to advertising must be adopted, he added.

"Our survey shows there is a big potential market out there, but the vendors and operators need a new approach to take advantage of it. At least they’re trying - look at Vodafone’s campaign 'The internet is now mobile' for example."

The limited take-up of mobile broadband was underlined by figures from the survey which showed that 57 per cent of users are under-35 and that most of these were from an affluent background.

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