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BT has agreed to assist 3 Ireland in a new development to bring 7.2 Mbps mobile broadband services to customers across the country.

The new €44 million (£34.6 million) contract builds on a 2003 agreement which saw the telecoms provider assist in infrastructural development of 3's third generation network.

New fibre-based upgrades will include a backhaul that will be capable of delivering 14.4 Mbps mobile broadband by 2009 and 16 Mbps in the longer-term, Siliconrepublic.com reports.

"As the leading provider in the Irish mobile broadband market, with more customers using 3's network than any other, we're delighted to be driving Ireland up the broadband league tables," said 3 Ireland's managing director Robert Finnegan.

The key development set out in the contract will be the microwave transmission of data from BT's fibre-optic network to 3's regional transmission sites.

Earlier this month, BT announced that it had signed a managed access contract with O2 to further enhance the latter's mobile broadband network in the UK.

Mobile broadband: compare the latest packages here.

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