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26 April 201226 Comments by Jon M

Samba Mobile: a first look

samba mobile logoHot on the tails of Impossible Telecom, we recently got a press release from another mobile network that promises to redefine the UK market. Samba Mobile is a brand new project that describes itself as:

An exciting new service that gives you free mobile broadband to your laptop, desktop or tablet. In return, we ask you to watch a few short, high-quality video adverts. You choose what videos to watch and when to watch them.

Now that’s rather interesting especially if you’re one of many people paying a fortune for data rates on your mobile or tablet or for a dongle with the main mobile networks.

This isn’t the first time networks or ISPs have attempted to offer free access funded by adverts but it will be interesting to see what they are doing differently to make it work this time round. It also remains to be seen how intrusive the ads are.

Samba Mobile is currently not available and hasn’t launched yet in the UK but we’ve heard it may work by letting you build up “credits” by viewing adverts which you can then spend on bandwidth or time online. It’s also likely they they will run on 3’s impressive data infrastructure.

So what do you think? Are you fed up of ads online or would it be a price worth paying for free mobile internet? And do you think it will last?


26 Responses to “Samba Mobile: a first look”

  1. Joe 19 July 2012 at 16:24 Permalink

    OK, so i’ve been using this now for about 2 months, Samba gave me a free 250Mb for filling in a questionnaire, so that was helpful.

    As far as the service goes, it’s fine, same as 3.

    The biggest single problem is what i anticipated: Lack of adverts.View the full grid and they start to disappear, so you have to watch again, and then you can’t because they’ve “expired”. I doctored my profile to get it to feed me different stuff, but you can only whatch a pot noodle ad so many times.

    I’m now down to just 3 ads that I can view, so it’s not good. Beginning to lose interest.

  2. Simon Samuels 4 July 2012 at 18:07 Permalink

    Does the Samba Battery extension for FF or Chrome work using apple imac, OSX 10.7.4, I already have a dongle.

    Do you supply basic dongle setup information ?

    • Joe 5 July 2012 at 01:10 Permalink

      Don’t know if it works on MAC, but dongle set up is simple.You just use the APN for “3” i.e. “3internet”

  3. Joe 25 May 2012 at 18:37 Permalink

    Forgot to say if you are reading Samba, that the Battery extension for Chrome works perfectly on Chrome for Linux too, perhaps you should mention that on the download page.

  4. Joe 25 May 2012 at 18:33 Permalink

    OK, So curiosity got the better of me and for £7.50, decided to give it a try.Had the SIM a few hours, and watched a few ads to charge it up. Below are my first thoughts:

    Samba told me they use 3’s APN, and indeed they do. I use a dongle in either a Draytek Vigor 2820Vn high end router or a Zoom 3g portable router,works fine in both of those.

    The payback is a bit more generous than I first thought, one 30 second ad yielded 3.5Mb. Nice.

    We need more ads, and some of them are weird or boring.

    I wish them success, not 100% convinced but a good try, and the fact that you can pay to top up too, means it just might work.

  5. Joe 11 May 2012 at 12:44 Permalink

    I’ve had a read of the FAQ’s on their site and watched a handful of adverts to get the feel of what they are offering. It looks too good to be true if I’m honest about it.

    Average of watching 6 adverts was that they last on average 1′ 30″ shortest 38″ longest 2′ 2″.

    They claim that on average you will earn 3.5Mb credit per advert. That works out at about 2.3Mb for watching 1 minute of advert.

    If you pay to top up it is £5.99/500Mb (not excessive really) or 1.2p/Mb. So you get “paid” 1.9p/min for watching (£1.15/Hr).

    That sounds like I’m being mean. I’m not. If they honour it then it is very reasonable. Watching 15 mins of adverts would pretty much feed my modest surfing habit for the rest of the evening, and it’s only what you do if you watch TV anyway.

  6. Joe 10 May 2012 at 18:40 Permalink

    Micro SIM is £7.49 delivered, so may get one just to see if it is any good. Their website was updated today.

  7. Joe 10 May 2012 at 18:35 Permalink

    From the latest update on the website it seems that a micro SIM is £4.99 + £2.50 delivery, so it might just be worth a try…

  8. Joe 7 May 2012 at 18:12 Permalink

    Well they did say they would launch last week but there were no emails and no service, so I suppose it depends what you mean by “launch”.

    I’m very keen to know what the ratio of advert viewing : service might be.

    When watching freeview channels you need to suffer at least 20 minutes of adverts for 40 minutes of programming.

    Due to changed circumstances i’m about skint, so would trade some advert viewing for some access (about 40mb/day would be plenty).

    • Mobile Network Comparison 7 May 2012 at 18:14 Permalink

      We hope to find out more details about exactly that after the bank holiday 🙂

    • Joe 7 May 2012 at 18:16 Permalink

      Also, a bit off topic, but does anyone here have the inside line on what went on with Freedomtalk/ Three / A1thechstore/ Dida mobile that left it’s pre-paid customers high and dry with no service?

  9. khairul 7 May 2012 at 16:36 Permalink

    I still haven’t received an email from Samba…

  10. Mr Ahmed 1 May 2012 at 14:30 Permalink

    This would be ideal for me.. I would love to try it if it does not involve any upfront costs. I assume they would send us the data sims

  11. Joe 29 April 2012 at 14:38 Permalink

    @Jason Barratt
    Registered on your website, look forward to hearing from you, will be interested to see details of your business model, T & C’s etc. If it’s cheap to try and has a SIM only option I’ll happily try it out.

    • Mobile Network Comparison 7 May 2012 at 14:09 Permalink

      Hi Joe. We’ll be running a feature and interview with Samba Mobile shortly and will definitely get the answers to these questions.

  12. Joe 26 April 2012 at 20:54 Permalink

    I would try it, but not if it involved any up front cost.
    I used Freedomtalk for three months without trouble, but then got ripped off when a 6 month pre paid SIM got cut off after a month.
    I think the base networks need to get a grip on some of these outfits before they damage their own reputations.
    With regard to Oviomobile, you have to pay £20 up front and the conditions are anything but clear. I will keep well away from it.
    Will it last? NO! it will last until the money people have paid runs out and they don’t pay Vodafone!

    • Mobile Network Comparison 7 May 2012 at 14:10 Permalink

      We want to know this too. We’ll be giving the CEO a bit of a grilling soon to find out all these answers so check back for our interview 🙂

  13. Jason Barrett 26 April 2012 at 16:25 Permalink

    hi There.
    We’re launching Samba mobile next week. Get in touch if you would like to speak to one of the management team and we can tell you more about what we are planning to do.
    Thanks for the interest in our business!
    Best regards
    The Samba Team

  14. Khairul@giffgaff 26 April 2012 at 10:06 Permalink

    Have you heard of these guys:

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