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The growth of mobile broadband in Europe over the past 18 months is down to four main factors, according to new research.

Global market intelligence firm IDC has cited the widespread availability of dongles and the upgrading of 3G networks with HSPA technology as two reasons for the expansion of the sector.

It also picked out added "consumer penetration" in the laptop market and an increase in cheap broadband subscriptions as two other developments to bare in mind.

Mobile broadband "presents a big land-grab opportunity, both now and for several years to come," for mobile operators, commented John Delaney, IDC's European director of consumer mobile research.

He added: "Success in the market will depend critically on a clear understanding of how mobile broadband should be positioned in the spectrum of mobile and internet services."

Meanwhile, a further finding was that the ongoing recession could have a negative impact on mobile broadband, if there is an expected hit on the laptop market.

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