Vodafone has launched the Vodafone Webbox, a device aimed at bringing affordable Internet access to a customer’s existing television set, just by plugging in a keyboard.
The Webbox is a Vodafone innovation developed specifically for customers in emerging markets, where technology and cost barriers often exclude many from enjoying affordable, ready Internet access at home or in the workplace. A 14 x 25cm QWERTY keyboard, the Webbox uses standard RCA connectors to plug into the television. With no set-up required, the plug and play keyboard converts any standard domestic television into an Internet portal.
Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Director of Terminals said the device had the potential to make a powerful difference in the lives of people in emerging markets who have limited access to the internet, but where TV penetration was typically very high.
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.
In South Africa, Vodacom is selling Webbox from this week. Other markets across Vodafone’s emerging market footprint will launch in 2011.