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The proportion of High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSPA) used in Europe rose to 11.6 per cent of all broadband connections in 2008.

That is according to new research by the analysis group Berg Insight, which also predicted that implementation of the technology is likely to soar during the next five years.

By utilising such GSM 3G networks, laptops and mobile devices can experience download speeds comparable to those seen on home-based cable connections.

Marcus Persson, a telecom analyst at Berg Insight, said: "Tomorrow's broadband service providers will have to offer subscribers multiple access methods."

Mr Persson added that HSPA could become the primary wireless technology used in North America, although it remains to be seen whether it will have a similar impact in Europe.

The US telecoms giant AT&T this week said that it will start to roll out a 7.2Mb HSPA network in its home country sometime this year.

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