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The share of mobile broadband users who choose to extend their long-term deals will be a reflection of how the market is developing.

That is the view of Tech Watch's David Allen, who was responding to recent comments from Virgin Media chief executive Neil Burkett that mobile broadband should be treated as a complimentary service to be provided alongside fixed-line.

Mr Allen suggested that if mobile broadband is to be viewed as such, then customers who are now tied to 18 or 24 month deals would be unlikely to renew their contract.

He commented: "Mobile broadband has an appeal to certain customers, but the market has been flooded with offers of so called 'free' laptops included in with mobile broadband contracts and with these contracts lasting up to two years, it is the renewal rate which will show if the demand is still there or not."

Non-Virgin Media customers can now sign-up to an 18-month mobile broadband contract with the provider, at a cost of £15 per month, featuring a 3GB download allowance.

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