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The market for mobile broadband devices in Europe increased to about 10.5 million sales in 2008, new figures have revealed.

Data published by the market researcher Telecompaper revealed that greater availability of cheap technology, such as USB modems and mini laptops, helped propel sales from 4.3 million the previous year.

According to the Dutch group, almost two thirds of all mobile data modem users in western Europe are located in the UK and Germany.

Despite this, Alejandra van de Roer, author of the report, commented that increases this year could be curtailed by the recession seen around much of the globe.

"Growth in 2009 is expected to be tempered due to the economic uncertainty", she said.

Figures published by Pyramid Research earlier this month suggested that rising netbook sales during the next few years could help boost the popularity of mobile broadband on the continent.

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