A new, free, 3G mobile broadband service called Samba has launched today.
“There’s no such thing as a free anything these days!” I hear you cry.
And you’d be almost right. Samba give you access to free mobile data provided you first watch a few minutes worth of adverts. In exchange for two and a half minutes of ad-viewing per day, you’ll get enough data to cover the average web surfer’s monthly broadband consumption of 517MB data per month. Samba are making use of Three’s 3G mast network, which covers 93% of the UK.
Sure, you have to pay £5 for the SIM to kick things off (and £25 if you need a dongle too), but for that you’ll be able to hook up a laptop, tablet or smartphone to the web without having to endure ongoing, costly, monthly fees. I could happily sit through an advert in exchange for fair bit of free data usage. Heck, we’re already served ads all over the web anyway, like at the beginning of YouTube videos. Might as well get something back in return, right?
“Samba is the perfect solution for people who need internet data on the go and don’t want to be locked into contracts with monthly charges and additional costs for excess data usage,” said Ben Atherton, CEO and founder of Samba.
“With Samba you earn the credit watching ads at a time that is convenient for you and then have access when you need it. It also marks an end to that hunt for a coffee shop, pub, hotel or library to get online – with Samba you can be online anytime, anywhere.
“We want Samba to be a quality product that our customers will enjoy using. We have the best connection and internet speed possible and carry premium ads from brands such as Agent Provocateur, Sims, Volvo, Clinique, Nissan, Paramount Pictures, Xbox Kinect, Pot Noodle and Dell.”
Cunning readers might also have spotted how simple it would be to “game” a service like this; with the adverts popping up in a tab before connection (much like a hotel Wi-Fi service), you could easily leave the adverts running in the background while another tab is open. With each viewed advert earning a few MBs of browsing data, with no cap on that stacked allowance, you could in theory leave the adverts running overnight and wake up with more than enough data to plough through some intensive browsing.
Whether or not advertisers realise this too and then pull out, causing the business model to crumble, remains to be seen.
For more info, click here.
By Gerald Lynch | July 5th, 2012