UK ad-funded MVNO Samba shuts down

29 April 2014 | Sophie Donoghue


UK ad-funded MVNO Samba has closed down with immediate effect after less than two years of operation.

The startup – which offered 3G broadband in return for users watching adverts – announced that it was closing down due to the high and increasing costs of wholesale data.

Launched in July 2012, the service ran on 3UK’s mobile network, but the company said that it has been unable to establish a new agreement with its wholesale partner.

"As we have reached the end of the latest billing period without agreement on lower costs, we have had to stop offering our services with immediate effect," the company said. "There is no guarantee we will be able to switch data back on unless negotiations with partners result in lower costs."

Samba has been one of many unsuccessful ad-funded MVNO businesses. Ovivo Mobile – which was based on a similar business model hosted on Vodafone's network – closed down in March this year.