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The amount consumers pay for high-speed mobile broadband services very much depends on the country they live in, it has been claimed.

According to Mikael Ricknas of IDG News Service, speeds of up to 21Mb are now widely available to internet consumers, but broadband providers are charging "dramatically" different prices around the world.

He noted that while such services cost three times as much to access in Australia as they do in Austria, where the market is characterised by greater levels of competition.

Physical geography can also influence the price of mobile broadband deals, according to Nick Ingelbrecht, Research Director in Gartner's consumer services team.

He told IDG News Service: "Providing coverage in a small country is much cheaper than the cost of building a national network in Australia, with its huge area and population distribution.

"Australia is about 90 times larger than Austria, but the population is only 2.5 times bigger."

Last week, Infonetics Research reported that the global mobile broadband market expanded by 55 per cent during the final quarter of 2009.

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