Samsung offers SA free Wi-Fi

2013-03-14 08:35
Samsung is focused on Africa with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. (Samsung)

Samsung is focused on Africa with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note II. (Samsung)

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Cape Town - Samsung announced on Wednesday that would offer users 1GB of free Wi-Fi access per month.

In a partnership with provider AlwaysOn, the electronics maker is offering Samsung product users 1GB of data on Wi-Fi networks for a year.

"We live in the connected age and it makes sense for Samsung to incorporate a service offering that combines innovative mobile devices with national wireless connectivity," said Craige Fleischer, director of Mobile Communications at Samsung Electronics South Africa.

Data cost is one of the challenges to mass adoption of smartphones, particularly in developing markets and a cursory News24 test revealed that an Android-powered device left on default settings could consume around 1GB of data over a 30 day period.

Mobile operators have been moving to meet the requirements of data-hungry smartphones in SA by dropping the price on their bundle cost, but subscribers have largely stuck with BlackBerry smartphones that offer the unlimited BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS).

Brand expansion

Cell C recently announced on their website that a 500MB prepaid data bundle will cost consumers R75. The Smartdata bundles are available for contract, Top-up and Prepaid customers, while Vodacom and MTN's 500MB data bundle is R79 and R119 respectively.

Third party providers like Nashua Mobile have released plans that cater for Android devices, but these plans are limited to 400MB per month.

Samsung did not hide the fact that it intends to use the data offering as a way to expand its brand in SA.

"This offering is our way of thanking our local customers for their loyal support. It is also indicative of our investment in expanding the Samsung eco-system of service offerings for a more integrated experience for our consumers," said Fleischer.

AlwaysOn has around 1 200 Wi-Fi hotspots around the country, and the offer is applicable to all Samsung device sold within the last three years.

Samsung is on a drive to dominate developing markets with its Build for Africa programme. The company has sold in excess of 200 000 of its Galaxy SIII devices in SA and is preparing to release the latest version of the Galaxy smartphone on Thursday.

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