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Opera Shows Off Updated Mobile Browser

Version 9.7 will offer faster download speeds and improved performance thanks to Opera's compression technology.

Opera Software showed off the latest version of its mobile browser, and the company said it will be able to offer users a high-quality, rich Internet experience regardless of network connectivity.

Opera Mobile 9.7 will take advantage of the company's server-side compression technology to offer mobile users quick Internet access while supporting Web technologies like Flash and Ajax. The compression technology, dubbed Opera Turbo, can compress data by up to 80% to improve download rates and overall performance.

"Opera Mobile 9.7 with Opera Turbo gives our business customers the ability to bring a rich Internet browsing experience to their mobile device and to the end user without having to allocate new resources and development costs," said Rod Hamlin, senior VP for Opera, in a statement.

The browser maker said Opera Mobile 9.7 will have better standards, will be capable of hardware acceleration, and will be compatible with Google Gears. The browser will come preloaded on some high-end smartphones but can also be purchased directly from Opera. It will be officially released during the CTIA Wireless Show next week.

As more cell phone users browse the Web on the go, Opera is seeing increased competition. The company already has to compete with on-deck browsers like Apple's mobile Safari and Microsoft's Internet Explorer Mobile, but it's also seeing a crop of newcomers in the mobile browser space.

Startup Skyfire is drawing rave reviews for its browser, which uses server-side compression to bring Flash and social networking features to mobile phones. Additionally, Mozilla's mobile Firefox is coming closer to completion, and it may be able to mirror the success of its desktop version by having support for extensions, as well as strong JavaScript support.

Learn more about Web 2.0 at TechWeb's Web 2.0 Expo, March 31 to April 3. Join us (registration required).

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