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A new six-month mobile broadband contract offer has been launched by Vodafone, aimed at students or people who are wary of committing to longer term contracts.

Under the terms of the deal, consumers pay £15 per month and a one-off charge of £29 for a dongle. This entitles them to a monthly download limit of 3GB and a broadband connection speed of up to 7.2Mb.

According to Vodafone, 3GB is enough to allow users to browse the web for 100 hours, download 200 tracks and 100 short videos and send 2,000 emails. Customers who exceed their limit are then charged £15 for every additional GB they use.

To aid working on the move, the dongle also offers microSD card support - thus allowing owners to use the device as a USB storage stick with up to 4GB of memory.

Vodafone’s offering is expected to have particular appeal to students who only require the use of mobile broadband during term time. However, it is also likely to be taken up by cash-conscious consumers who do not wish to commit to some of the longer contracts on offer with most mobile broadband providers.

Alex Buttle, marketing director at Top 10 Broadband, said: “Between top-up fees and a slump in the number of part-time jobs available, it's getting harder and harder for students to keep their heads above water.

"Vodafone's six-month deal is a brilliant way of keeping costs down and ensuring that you only pay for broadband when you need it."

The launch of the broadband provider’s new product follows the announcement this week that it is to launch a new device that allows customers to boost the strength of the 3G mobile broadband signal in their homes.

Due to go sale on July 1st, the Vodafone Access Gateway will be priced at £160 to buy outright, with a monthly usage fee of £5. It is also to be included on the network’s contract mobile phone plans from £15 per month.

Consumers in areas with poor network access are likely to be a core market for the new gadget, which works by plugging into home broadband connections and magnifying the 3G signal.

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