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    So-long Samba: There's no such thing as an ad-funded lunch


    Hot on the heels of the demise of Ovivo Mobile, ad-funded network Samba Mobile have announced in an email to subscribers and website announcement that they are to cease operations after 2 years in business.

    Closing with immediate effect (albeit in a rather more controlled manner than Ovivo), the decision has been taken in light of 'high and increasing - and therefore unsustainable - data costs', which we imagine are exacerbated by low and falling revenue from advertising and a difficult environment for finding new and innovative ways to fund the service at no cost to the users.

    The announcement comes out of the blue for customers, however Samba point out that they have been in negotiations with their wholesale data partners trying to cut the right deal to continue, but unfortunately this has not been possible. Data costs are paid for in advance and without an agreement in place, the service has to close with immediate effect.

    It is import to note that although the service is finishing, the company is not going into liquidation - as such all Samba customers who bought a SIM or Dongle in April 2014 will receive a full refund into the PayPal account that was used to pay for the original Samba order. If this is you, you should receive your refund by Thursday 1st May 2014.

    In addition, Samba customers who bought a cash top-up that has not expired will be refunded for any unused data on their top-up. This too will be paid into the PayPal account that was used to pay for the top-up by the date above. Note that no money will be paid for Samba credit that was earned from watching ads.

    It's a sad state of affairs and leaves low-usage customers looking for a free deal out of options. We'll be rounding up the best deals to switch to in a forthcoming post but if you're a Samba Mobile user (or indeed an Ovivo Mobile user), let us know your plans!


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    Posted

    These days I am rather well covered for data access whilst out and about.  BT Wifi hotspots, free BT Wifi, Free O2 wifi and free "The Cloud" accounts usually have me covered but for those more remote locations, Samba was a godsend.

     

    No monthly fee and a banked quota of data to rely on was a perfect solution, but ultimately not sustainable.  I would look at prepaid if there was no expiry time so maybe I will see if that exists in the market.

     

    Otherwise I will have to look at tethering as an option.  My current GiffGaff 12 tariff does not allow it, so i would need to switch to the £10 package to open up tethering . . the sting in the tail?  Doing this would incur a 1GB data allowance, down from unlimited . . .  

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    Posted

    Three were looking the most stable PAYG deal for low usage customers (credit not expiring after 30 days IIRC) 

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    Posted

    Three were looking the most stable PAYG deal for low usage customers (credit not expiring after 30 days IIRC)

    But as soon as the detect you aren't using the SIM in a phone and/or are tethering they can put a halt on things.
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    Posted

    :-(

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    Posted

    But as soon as the detect you aren't using the SIM in a phone and/or are tethering they can put a halt on things.

    didn't three change their terms when they changed the monthly plans to include 0800 numbers. I thought they now let you do what you like with data including tethering if you was on a capped plan, tethering restrictions were now only on plans with unlimited data
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    Posted

    Shame to see them go, was a really handy to use them for data on the go to save using my main mobile data.

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    Posted

    It's a shame because they were the only service to offer non-time limited mifi data. I'd be happy to pay £15/gb as long as it lasted for a year. My mifi fills the gaps where Vodafone's 3g coverage is poor (my commute is through the countryside) and Three appear to have filled it. But I'm not paying £15 to find out it's gone before I needed to use it.

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    Posted

    didn't three change their terms when they changed the monthly plans to include 0800 numbers. I thought they now let you do what you like with data including tethering if you was on a capped plan, tethering restrictions were now only on plans with unlimited data

    You might be right, I was just going on experience from messing about with one of their 3-2-1 PAYG SIMs in phone and Mi-Fi.
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    Posted

    You might be right, I was just going on experience from messing about with one of their 3-2-1 PAYG SIMs in phone and Mi-Fi.

     

    Looking at the Three website I'm still seeing restrictions (http://www.three.co.uk/ThreePortal/Satellite?blobcol=urldata&blobheader=application%2Fpdf&blobkey=id&blobnocache=false&blobtable=MungoBlobs&blobwhere=1223584474488&ssbinary=true pg28).

     

    Use your SIM in the device category of your price plan.
    You can’t put your voice SIM into anything other than a phone (e.g dongle, laptop, tablet). For example, if you’re on The One Plan you must use your SIM in a mobile handset only, you can’t remove it and place it in a mobile broadband dongle.
     
    Want to use your data allowance as a personal hotspot?
    If you are on The One Plan contract (handset and SIM) we’re happy for you to use your data allowance as a personal hotspot (we used to call this tethering). This means you can connect your phone to other devices via USB or WiFi to connect to the internet. If you’re not on The One Plan, you can get a Mobile Internet Add-on , or a Personal Hotspot
    Add-on. See page 5 on how to get one. If you have a Personal Hotspot Add-on, this will not work in a Feel At Home country.
     

     

    Which is a shame because the 1p/MB on the 3-2-1 would be perfect.

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    Posted

    Had I ever been naive enough to have ever trialled this terrible business model of a network, I'd be disappointed. It looked terrible and unappealing because - guess what - IT WAS. So many people spoke of its' myriad virtues, and I have no hesitation in saying that those people are, well, cheapskates.

    Service costs money; pay that money and get on with your life - time is more precious that money, only a fool thinks otherwise.

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