BBC: Samba’s advert-supported 3G data service launches in UK

However, Guillermo Escofet, senior analyst at research group Informa Telecoms and Media, said a previous attempt to make this business model work had gone awry.

“This is very reminiscent of Blyk – an ad supported network offering free mobile calls and SMS messages targeted at students about five years ago,” he told the BBC.

“It had big ambitions to spread to other countries but never took off in the way organisers had hoped.

“They managed to get a fair amount of users but essentially they didn’t raise enough advertising revenue from enough brands. While I don’t know exactly how Samba’s model works I fear there’s the risk this might face the same fate.”