Ad-supported mobile broadband service launched in UK

An MVNO that offers free mobile data in return for viewing adverts has launched in the UK. Samba Mobile is available for tablet and laptop owners and offers users a range of interactive adverts to drive engagement.

Users buy a Samba SIM card for £2.99 plus postage and packing, and branded dongles will soon be available as well. In order to boost their data allowance users watch adverts that often require some interaction to make sure they are watched. Users can also add credit buy buying products advertised or buying credits outright.

The service runs on 3UK’s mobile network and Samba Mobile admitted that web usage may be tracked. Controversial material, such as pornography may not be watched using the service.

Samba was founded in 2010 by two mobile and advertising specialists and the firm said that it has financial backing from an international mobile operator and a number of very experienced and “well-connected independent investors”.

The offering bears a strong resemblance to that of Blyk, which failed to make the model work in the UK and instead became an advertising services provider. The main issue was that the network lacked the kind of reach the big brands targeted were used to buying through established media.

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