Orange has made its mark in the 30K-a-week dongle market in recent weeks after a marketing campaign matching T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3’s £15-a-month 3GB deals in recent weeks.
According to retailer and operator sources, Orange has snatched 12% of all dongle sales, but trails way behind market leader 3, which is understood to stand at 40% market.
Orange has also made its dongles available through Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4u. The Orange dongle is being offered with a free HP laptop in Carphone, while Phones 4u is offering mobile broadband on Orange for half-price for ten months through its Dial-A-Phone website.
A spokeswoman for Orange said: 'New initiatives such as free laptops with mobile broadband dongles with Phones 4u and Carphone Warehouse and great deals at £15 per month really support this. We will continue to assess the market for additional opportunities across fixed and mobile broadband.'
All the operators are now fighting over dongles - the growing part of the mobile market.
O2 recently entered and has restricted sales to its own customer, and has built up a share of 4%. T-Mobile’s share has been hovering just below 24%, while Vodafone has around 21% of the mobile broadband market.
3 has been particularly attracted to mobile broadband because it doesn’t have to pay the termination rates on voice calls for dongles. O2, Vodafone and Orange balance out the termination fees because of the size of their customer base.
Vodafone is known to be close to joining 3 and T-Mobile in offering a pay-as-you-go dongle offer. Prepay dongle sales are understood to have sold in large numbers among the large immigrant populations in urban parts of the country. Prepay made up just 10% of the dongle market two months ago; that figure has jumped to 25% now.