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Startup Offers Free Mobile Data Allowance For Viewing Ads

In a move that's reminiscent of the pre-internet bubble era that was awash with free offers, a MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) has built a business model based on paying people to watch promotional videos using data allowance as a currency.

There are six videos currently available, the Oracle Reading,, Wagon Wheels, Chevrolet, Nissan Academy and River Island and on average, each advert watched gives around 3.5MB of free data. The company says that it will introduce different kinds of adverts and possibly, other content, which may yield different amounts of data.

The MVNO, which uses Three's network, will require a microSIM card (which costs £7) or a dongle with an embedded SIM at a cost of around £30. As it stands, the service only works on smartphones and tablets and is not yet available for desktops and laptops.

The company was found back in 2009 by "accomplished internet, mobile and advertising entrepreneurs" from Orange, Digicel and Media Edge:CIA". The outfit - which went on trial 20 months ago - is funded by Irish telecoms entrepreneur Denis O'Brien who owns Digicel brand.

Desire worked at ITProPortal right at the beginning and was instrumental in turning it into the leading publication we all know and love today. He then moved on to be the Editor of TechRadarPro - a position he still holds - and has recently been reunited with ITProPortal since Future Publishing's acquisition of Net Communities.