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Mobile broadband services are becoming increasingly popular with web users, it has been claimed.

According to research consultancy IDC, the advent of netbooks and tablets, early availability of 4G services and development of long-term evolution technology is boosting the sector.

The firm says that more consumers are viewing mobile broadband as a secondary access method beyond a fixed connection, and a genuine subscriber option.

Carrie MacGillivray, Programme Manager for Mobility Services at IDC, said diversity in pricing plans, new computing devices capable of mobile broadband connections and the promise of a 4G world with faster speeds are "a tempting proposition for customers looking to be ubiquitously connected regardless of location, anytime".

"Mobile broadband is growing in importance for both consumers adopting the service and the operators offering connectivity," she said.

Earlier this week, mobile broadband provider Virgin Media announced that its dongles will be supplied by Alcatel as part of a major new deal.

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