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Samba Launch FREE Ad Supported UK Mobile Broadband Service

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012 (1:22 pm) - Score 1,158

Samba, a virtual mobile network operator that uses the Three UK (3) platform, claims to have launched the country’s first FREE Mobile Broadband service today. Naturally there are a few catches.

Firstly, customers have to pay an initial one-off fee of £2.99 (plus £2 delivery), which covers the cost of a SIM card and delivery to your home address (a USB Modem option will be available for around £25 in the near future). Once joined you’d then be required to watch a few video adverts (this could be a several minutes long) each day in order to top-up your credit (2-3 mins daily equals about 500MB a month or 3-4MB per ad, which isn’t too bad). When the credit runs out you have to watch more adverts.

Subscribers will also need to install a plug-in for their website browser or Smartphone app that directs them to the adverts and tracks if somebody buys one of the associated products, which will also result in additional data credit. The app/plugin will also prevent adult content from being loaded and collects personal traffic data, such as your location, website visits, search times and more. That’s quite a worrying amount of detail.

Unfortunately similar schemes, while quite attractive for casual users, have a habit of failing to return enough income to sustain themselves. Meanwhile crafty internet users almost always find clever ways to trick such systems into giving them credit without having to watch the ads, although that hasn’t happened to Samba.. yet.

On the other hand customers can just skip the ads and buy a standard data top-up but then there’d be little point in using Samba.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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