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The mobile broadband explosion in Europe in recent times was not expected by experienced sector experts, according to the Economist.

In a feature on the technology, the current affairs magazine cited figures from analyst firm IDC, which foresee that the number of mobile broadband subscribers will grow by over half during this year, taking the total to over 100 million.

The publication highlighted the convenience of the product as a reason for its quickly-found popularity.

"Industry veterans have been surprised by the rapid take-up of mobile broadband - using built-in receivers or plug-in dongles to provide internet access to laptops via high-speed mobile networks," the periodical said.

"The advantage of this is that it works anywhere - unlike short-range Wi-Fi technology, it is not limited to a few hotspots."

Meanwhile, David Allen of Tech Watch has predicted that mobile broadband operators will soon be forced to put up prices.

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