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PC manufacturers, chipset providers and mobile operators have united in a major step forward for mobile broadband.

The different groups have agreed on a groundbreaking initiative to pre-install many PC laptops with mobile broadband technology.

Some 91 countries in the world will see a large share of laptops come off the production line equipped with wireless chips allowing them to work with 3G and 4G technology.

Mike O'Hara, a spokesman for the GSM Alliance which brokered the agreement on Mobile Broadband, told the BBC: "It's comparable to fixed broadband services and close to what you get in a Wi-Fi hot spot.

"You can go to an operator's store, buy a laptop and it will be already fitted so you can go online instantly."

According to Wireless Intelligence, by the end of 2008 the number of people using mobile broadband - currently estimated at 55 million worldwide - is set to grow by four million a month.

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