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Wireless broadband services are proving popular with Irish SMEs, according to new research from Vodafone Ireland.

The study found that a third of small and medium sized enterprises are using services other than fixed lines as their main connection to the internet.

According to the report, new services such as mobile broadband have enjoyed strong take-up but DSL still remains the most frequently used internet connection technology.

The report found that approximately 16 per cent of SMEs rely on dial-up internet services from their fixed-line provider, with 22 per cent of Ireland's small firms using ISDN.

Around 33 per cent of small businesses surveyed said they are using broadband services, such as fixed-wireless, 3G mobile broadband, Wi-Fi, and satellite technology. Interestingly, the study found that seven per cent of larger SMEs no longer use landline telephony at all.

The research also shows that 77 per cent of employees in Ireland's small businesses have access to the internet or email at work. Employees of small businesses in the IT, finance, and media sector are most likely to have internet access, with 91 per cent of these respondents saying they have access. At 72 per cent, employees of small construction firms are the least likely to be able to use the internet or email at work.

"What is most striking about the research is the willingness among small firms to adopt new technology, such as 3G broadband," said Eavann Murphy, Vodafone's head of business marketing. "We expect to see more SMEs moving away from traditional slow or inflexible means of connecting to the internet and becoming fully mobile."

© 2007 ENN

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