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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!

About the author

PaulOBrien's Photo
Paul O'Brien founded MoDaCo in 2002 as a site focused on Windows Smartphones and has grown it since then by concentrating on providing a friendly community for both experienced and beginner mobile enthusiasts.

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17 Comments

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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The Soup Thief
Apr 28 2014 11:59 AM

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

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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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The Soup Thief
Apr 28 2014 12:37 PM
:-(
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everett_psycho
Apr 28 2014 01:49 PM

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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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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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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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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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....8&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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glossywhite
Apr 29 2014 09:32 PM

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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BlueMoonRising
May 01 2014 06:03 AM

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.

And once again DullWhite comments on a thread that he has absolutely no interest in  or intention of getting just so he can gloat at other peoples misfortune. Everyone who uses a service like Ovivo or Samba is an idiot, cheapskate or fool according to the holy one.

 

Could a mod have a word (not for the first time I might add) please.

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BlueMoonRising
May 01 2014 06:11 AM

I feel for you guys but at least you're getting your credit back, I was on Ovivo :(

 

3 doesn't look bad for low usage if you're in a decent area for coverage. Unfortunately I'm not and had to revert to Asda Mobile since they're using the EE network now, no tethering though :(

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glossywhite
May 01 2014 10:29 PM

And once again DullWhite comments on a thread that he has absolutely no interest in  or intention of getting just so he can gloat at other peoples misfortune. Everyone who uses a service like Ovivo or Samba is an idiot, cheapskate or fool according to the holy one.

 

Could a mod have a word (not for the first time I might add) please.

 

You appear to be obsessed with me and everything I post, almost desperately trying to find a reason to dislike my opinions. If you don't care about me or my opinion, why do you seem so hung up on it? If you didn't care you'd chuckle quietly to yourself and move on; I can almost guarantee that the one person who can't resist but make a cynical comment  to me in a passive way, will be you.. but why? You say you have no time for me, yet here you are spending time concerning yourself in what I have to say. I have no reason to make you like me - you are determined not to - that's your choice, but for goodness sake GET OVER IT and be a man - if you've some problem with me, say so, but don't expect me to care much.

 

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BlueMoonRising
May 02 2014 06:26 AM

You appear to be obsessed with me and everything I post, almost desperately trying to find a reason to dislike my opinions. If you don't care about me or my opinion, why do you seem so hung up on it? If you didn't care you'd chuckle quietly to yourself and move on; I can almost guarantee that the one person who can't resist but make a cynical comment  to me in a passive way, will be you.. but why? You say you have no time for me, yet here you are spending time concerning yourself in what I have to say. I have no reason to make you like me - you are determined not to - that's your choice, but for goodness sake GET OVER IT and be a man - if you've some problem with me, say so, but don't expect me to care much.

Everything you post? Just because I comment on one of your moronic posts when I happen to come across them doesn't make me 'obsessed'.

 

What was it you called people who bought into Ovivo? 'Mug punters' wasn't it?

Here it's 'cheapskates' and 'fools'. On the OSD forum you only go on it to belittle and laugh at anyone asking a question just for the 'sin' of owning one.

You have been made to apologise at least once publicly (perhaps twice) for trolling and warned multiple times

"You say you have no time for me, yet here you are spending time concerning yourself in what I have to say.", says the 'man' who claims to be 'a very busy man' but always finds time to post on threads that he actually has no investment in just to sneer and look down on people from your high and mighty pulpit.

 

​And you have the gall to tell me to 'be a man'... Perhaps you need to look up a definition first and then look in a mirror. Of course you're known to be too deluded to actually recognise what looks back at yourself.

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I feel for you guys but at least you're getting your credit back, I was on Ovivo :(

How long for? I got ~14 months out of my initial £20, so I don't feel bad that I didn't get anything back at the end. I can see why people that got less time might be a bit more aggrieved.

 

I guess this Samba thing just proves that a business model based on your customers not really paying you, doesn't actually work.

 

Which makes the Freetard in me sad, but hey, I'm not going to whinge that I'm not getting a free lunch.

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glossywhite
May 02 2014 03:26 PM

Everything you post? Just because I comment on one of your moronic posts when I happen to come across them doesn't make me 'obsessed'.

 

What was it you called people who bought into Ovivo? 'Mug punters' wasn't it?

Here it's 'cheapskates' and 'fools'. On the OSD forum you only go on it to belittle and laugh at anyone asking a question just for the 'sin' of owning one.

You have been made to apologise at least once publicly (perhaps twice) for trolling and warned multiple times

"You say you have no time for me, yet here you are spending time concerning yourself in what I have to say.", says the 'man' who claims to be 'a very busy man' but always finds time to post on threads that he actually has no investment in just to sneer and look down on people from your high and mighty pulpit.

 

​And you have the gall to tell me to 'be a man'... Perhaps you need to look up a definition first and then look in a mirror. Of course you're known to be too deluded to actually recognise what looks back at yourself.

Sorry that you chose to take things personally.

Have a lovely weekend :)

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BlueMoonRising
May 02 2014 03:41 PM

How long for? I got ~14 months out of my initial £20, so I don't feel bad that I didn't get anything back at the end. I can see why people that got less time might be a bit more aggrieved.

 

I guess this Samba thing just proves that a business model based on your customers not really paying you, doesn't actually work.

 

Which makes the Freetard in me sad, but hey, I'm not going to whinge that I'm not getting a free lunch.

A whole month :( sadly.

At least I'm fairly secure in the knowledge that Asda won't go bust. (Anyone with shares in the Asda may want to sell now since I've just put the thumb of doom over their heads)

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