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The vast majority of UK households are now able to take advantage of mobile broadband services, a new study has revealed.

Research conducted by media regulator Ofcom has indicated that 87 per cent of the UK population lives within reach of a 3G network.

The major mobile broadband providers - O2, Vodafone, 3, Orange and T-Mobile - have continued to extend their coverage maps in recent years, boosting the appeal of dongle services.

However, Ofcom revealed that large areas of the UK are still excluded from 3G networks, including parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the south-west of England in particular.

Some 12 per cent of consumers were found to be dissatisfied with the geographical reach of mobile broadband – potentially the same individuals who are currently unable to access the internet on the move in their local area.

According to the recent YouGov DongleTracker survey, 3 is currently the most popular dongle provider among UK consumers.

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