Vodafone Webbox Turns Any TV into Internet Access

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Vodafone tore a phone apart...put the components in a keyboard box, added standard RCA connectors – and now you have the Vodafone Webbox, the first device of its kind, bringing affordable internet access to existing television set, just by plugging in a keyboard.

WebboxDeveloped with emerging markets in mind (where many don't yet have affordable internet access), the Webbox is a sleek, black, 14 x 25cm QWERTY keyboard. Webbox plugs into TV with no set-up required, converting any standard domestic television into an internet portal.

The Webbox home screen allows the customer to navigate easily between the core services: Opera Mini 5.1 internet access; SMS and email messaging; internet search and media services including FM radio and a photo gallery tool, as well as a music player.

Vodafone Webbox

The Webbox is on the Vodafone stand at Mobile World Congress 2011.

The Webbox Opera Mini browser runs over the 2.5G and EDGE mobile networks, compressing data by around 90% and so serving fast-loading internet pages. (Opera Mini is available across 20 markets, preloaded onto 32 handsets and downloadable to a total of 278 devices. There have been 9 million downloads of the Vodafone Opera Mini browser to date.)

The browser homepage comes with bookmarks such as news, sport and social networking sites as well as locally relevant apps such as a job search and application service. In addition, the portal comes with some games, a dictionary and a basic text editor.

Webbox in action

Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Director of Terminals says: “...The simplicity of the product is striking – it brings the internet to the TV, be that at home for the family, in schools for education or in small businesses to assist local economic growth.”

In South Africa, Vodacom will start selling the Webbox from next week. Other markets across Vodafone’s emerging market footprint will launch in 2011. Vodacom will retail the Webbox at a one-off unit cost of R749 (c €75) with a free 2GB SD card, and prepaid SIM with R12 data credit.

Watch Webbox Demo by Vodafone Group