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Vodafone has teamed up with Birmingham City Council to offer local schoolchildren access to mobile broadband services.

Through a joint scheme, the pair are loaning laptops with free web access to over 450 pupils in the city who currently lack landline access at home.

Funded by government agency Becta, the initiative has also seen Vodafone add its Secure Remote Access service to hardware in an effort to ensure the security of the council's network and hardware is not compromised.

Councillor Les Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families at Birmingham City Council, said the scheme would improve the education of youngsters.

He added: "This is a highly flexible and cost-effective way for us to provide some of the most disadvantaged homes in the region with mobile broadband access."

Vodafone recently revealed its Sure Signal platform, which is designed to boost mobile phone reception indoors, is proving popular with business customers.

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