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The concept of ad-supported free services is nothing new. There has long been web services that cost money, yet also come in a free version that has ads. The user of the free version consigns him/herself to looking at a few ads in exchange for getting the service at no charge. Premium version users pay the going rate to get the exact same service without the ads. Mobile phone service providers have offered ad-supported services in the past but as GigaOM points out cell phone carrier Orange in the UK is looking to offer cell phone service at reduced rates to those willing to put up with ads.
This is an interesting concept as there are those who need to keep cell phone service charges to a bare minimum. The willingness to put up with ads is a fair trade-off to some, no doubt. This new effort by Orange might just fly but then the devil is in the details- those details being how much do the reduced rates save the consumer, how much do the ads interfere with normal phone usage, etc.