In the world of MVNOs, nothing is certain.
Ovivo seemed to be going quite well, giving away airtime as long as you watched some adverts. Then a few weeks ago, boom, they were gone. While that was going on, Co-op were announcing plans to enter the arena, clearly wanting to get some of the success that GiffGaff are enjoying. Incidentally, GiffGaff have also recently announced they are going great guns.
So it’s not all doom and gloom.
Today they have had to close their doors after apparently trying to negotiate a new deal with their providers in a bid to stay afloat. On their site the explain that the high costs of wholesale data is the cause for the closure:
It’s sad to see another company go but it seems that there are still others waiting to replace them. If you are using Samba Mobile then head to their website for details of what to do next.
Samba closing down. Thanks to all our customers.
You may have heard via the website, a friend or social media that Samba has had to take the difficult decision to close. We hope that you, our customers, have been happy with the value exchange received over the last two years. Below you will find answers to FAQs.
We would like to thank you for all your support. We know that a lot of you have really appreciated the service, and we have, in return, very much appreciated your loyalty to Samba and your support of our proposition to friends and family.
We have provided free mobile broadband, but also an alternative to interruptive video advertising models, and have, for the most part, with your participation, proven that people are quite happy to view video ads when they are in control of the experience and get something in return. We will be using this learning in future projects.
However, it is with sadness that today we have closed the service, and we understand and appreciate you will need to find alternatives to Samba. We have made suggestions of where to look at the bottom of the FAQs below.
To paraphrase the late Douglas Adams, so long and thanks for all the views…
• Why is Samba closing down?
Samba is closing principally due to the high cost of wholesale data. This makes the current model of offering a meaningful value exchange of mobile broadband unsustainable. The data service will shut down with immediate effect; there is no guarantee we will be able to switch data back on unless negotiations with partners result in lower costs for Samba. Thank you all for your loyalty, feedback and recommendations to friends and family since we launched in 2012.
• Why didn’t you tell us in advance?
We have been in negotiations with our wholesale data partners trying to cut the right deal to continue, but unfortunately this has not been possible. We have to pay for data in advance and, as we have reached the end of the latest billing period without agreement on lower costs, we have had to stop offering our service with immediate effect.
• Can I get a refund for my SIM or Dongle?
All Samba customers who bought a SIM or Dongle in April 2014 will receive a refund. This will be paid into the PayPal account that was used to pay for the original Samba order by Thursday 1st May 2014.
• Can I get a refund on my Samba credit?
All Samba customers who bought a cash top-up that has not expired will be refunded for any unused data on their cash top-up. This will be paid into the PayPal account that was used to pay for the cash top-up by Thursday 1st May 2014.
No money will be paid for Samba credit that was earned from watching ads.
• Will I be paid commission for referring a friend in April?
As we are refunding all customers who signed up in April, we will not be paying commission for refer a friend sign-ups during the month.
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers for being a part of Samba. We hope you have enjoyed using the service over the last 2 years and we hope you find the right mobile broadband deal in the future. You have taken part in a unique experiment that has been welcomed by the ad industry – we have run over 1000 campaigns for our partners and have, to a large extent, proven that people are happy to consume advertising if they are in control of the experience and if they get something meaningful in return. We will be taking this experience into subsequent ventures.
You may wish to compare mobile broadband deals at: