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Samba launches 'free' mobile broadband service

5th July 2012 Print

Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at commented: "Surfing via smartphones and tablets has soared in popularity over the last 3 years while subscription rates to 3G dongles have dwindled. Users are increasingly logging on through complementary wi-fi services (BT Openzone, Sky Cloud, etc) or using their smart phone as a wifi hotspot, but any free service such as Samba's will be well received by a certain group of consumers. However there is a hassle factor attached to the mandatory advert viewing - 2.5 minutes is a lot of time when you are waiting to check your email and may irritate users who are used to the convenience of instant surfing.

"Another potential downside is that the earned download allowance isn't that generous. 517MB per month will just about cover basic email usage and browsing, but the average household downloads 17GB per month - customers would have to watch a lot of adverts to get a usage allowance that high.

"This service will appeal to cash strapped consumers whose internet usage is low, however it is important to remember that it is subject to the same limitations as mobile broadband: slower speeds, congestion during peak hours and patchy reception on trains. This is not a substitute for fixed line broadband, but is an excellent add-on service for customers who only want to use it sporadically."