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Mobile broadband is a viable alternative in areas where people are not adequately covered by fixed-line services, 3 has been claimed.

According to the internet service provider, next-generation mobile broadband technology has the potential to easily deliver 2Mb services to households and businesses outside of existing coverage zones.

Speaking at the Westminster eForum entitled Broadband for All? on July 16th, the broadband supplier's Director of Technical Solutions Phil Sheppard suggested that mobile technology is still evolving.

He said that it is "commercially capable" of providing the 2Mb broadband universal service commitment in a very efficient way.

"It's very cost effective, it actually doesn't need government funding, what it needs is access to spectrum, that's the key thing," Mr Sheppard claimed.

With the right spectrum range, 3 told the conference that 3,000 to 4,000 new sites would be enough to provide broadband to the two million houses currently without it.

Recently, the Coda Research Consultancy suggested that there will be more than 418 million broadband laptop users around the world by 2017.

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