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Sales of PC data cards have started to fall, according to the latest US research.

Figures from comScore show that sales of wireless internet cards dropped back in the final quarter of 2008, with growth down to five per cent from 22 per cent in the previous three-month period.

The research organisation attributed this dip to the fact that consumers are making cut backs and do not yet see mobile broadband as an essential product.

Serge Matta, Senior Vice President at comScore, said that the PC data card market is currently in a relatively early stage and is feeling the impact of the economic downturn.

"Mobile broadband service may still be seen by many as a luxury rather than a necessity," he added.

"Now is the time for mobile broadband providers to solidify their market position, because as the economy begins to recover and discretionary spending resumes the market will likely accelerate once again."

The research also found that customers supplement wireless card use with traditional cable broadband services. Consumers used data cards for 22 hours of web surfing in the final quarter of 2008, but looked to traditional connections for an additional 67 hours of online time.

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