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The massive data load from laptop dongles are eating up network capacity at a far greater rate than phone-based services, one expert says.

Simon Bransfield-Garth, UK managing director of wireless analyst Carrier IQ, has told Mobile Entertainment that the rise of mobile broadband has serious implications for capacity on the 3G network.

Mr Bransfield-Garth is of the view that unlimited data allowances included in mobile broadband packages are not viable in the long term, without improvements being made to the current network.

He commented: "But how much longer can the “all you can eat” tariff be viable?

"Network capacity is a finite resource and without investment in greater bandwidth through 3G hotspots, such as home femtocells or public picocells, the macro networks will become congested, slow and unusable."

Femtocells are home gateways which re-broadcast a cellular service for improved 3G reception, while picocells are used to re-broadcast a Wi-Fi connection over a larger area, such as an office block or airport.

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