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Want a free data plan? Just watch some ads

A company in the U.K. is offering people free wireless Internet – if they watch enough ads.

Data service on smartphones and tablets is typically expensive when compared to traditional voice fees. But it now seems one company is offering a reprieve for penny-pinching consumers.

According to BBC News, Samba will give users 3G data service after they watch video ads on their mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Users must first buy a SIM card from the company – they can also get a USB 3G data dongle to use wireless 3G Internet from their laptops.

The ads are each two-and-a-half minutes in length. In return, users get 517 MB of data, which they can use during the course of a month.

But other than watching the video ads, there is another catch. Users may have their web browsing habits tracked so that advertisers may deliver better-directed promotions to the users. If you’re looking up the classifieds for a used Volkswagen, you might see an ad for a car dealership.

Apparently, a similar project, where people watch ads in return for a free product, has been attempted in the past. But there was limited success because the companies never got enough money from the ads themselves.

Would you watch ads for free Internet?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets




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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.