updated 07:01 pm EDT, Wed July 4, 2012
Selectable advertisement viewing adds service credits
A UK carrier is attempting to court customers with almost-free Internet access. Samba, an reseller carrier using Three's network, is giving users data access on its mobile service in exchange for watching advertisements every day -- although other conditions of use may be seen as too high a barrier of entry to the service for some.
Prospective users will have to initially pay £2.99 + delivery ($5) for the SIM, but then have to watch commercials in order to earn credit to the service. Watching two and a half minutes of video ad campaigns per day will build up enough credit for 500MB of data transfer per month, with extra credit collectable by participating in partner deals or by paying to top-up. A browser plug-in or iPad app needs to be installed to view the commercials, but which campaign to watch can be chosen by the user.
Specific services and content types are blocked on Samba for all users, for example those relating to pornographic, offensive, or copyright-infringing content. With the web filtering usually performed by UK carriers blocking seemingly legitimate websites from their users, this may turn into an issue for potential users attracted to "free" cellular Internet. [via BBC News]