Free 3G data if you watch ads from new network Samba

Samba is a new network offering free data for your laptop or iPad if you watch adverts from the likes of Samsung, Unicef and Gillette.

What would you do for free Internet on the go? A new phone network called Samba is offering free data if you watch a couple of minutes of adverts from the likes of Samsung, Volvo, Xbox Kinect, Unicef and Gillette.

Sign up to Samba and you'll get a 3G SIM card or micro-SIM costing £3, with a 3G dongle also coming soon. To get online on your laptop or iPad, you watch about two-and-a-half minutes of adverts before you can start surfing.

A couple of minutes a day adds up to 517MB of data per month credited to your account. Buying something from one of the advertisers earns you more credit, or you can just buy data the old-fashioned way if you don't want to see the ads.

To get going, install a plug-in for the browser on your laptop, or download an iPad app. Samba also installs cookies that track your location, your browsing and the things you search for -- although you can request this information isn't used for marketing purposes.

Samba uses the Three network to provide the service. It's an MVNO, a network that uses somebody else's infrastructure -- masts and stuff -- to provide the service, often at a cheaper cost than the bigger networks. Other MVNOs include Tesco Mobile and GiffGaff.

Presumably, as with most ads, there's nothing to force you to actually pay attention. It's that problem that saw Apple come up with an idea for commercials that won't let you move on until you answer a question about the advert, forcing you to soak up the ad's message. I shudder to think.

Is Samba a good idea? Would you trade an hour and a quarter of ads for 517MB of data? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

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Phones
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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