The keyboard which was developed by Vodafone to help its consumers in emerging markets get a decent Internet experience, was first unveiled in South Africa in February this year.
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Although Webbox appears to be a regular QWERTY keyboard at first glance, it is essentially a data device running on Android 2.1, with built-in hardware and an antenna that supports up to 2.5G and EDGE networks. It connects to your television set using standard RCA cables, to offer an affordable and speedy Internet experience with no extra setup.
All you have to do is pop your Vodafone SIM card into the keyboard and switch it on, to get an intuitive interface on your television screen. This allows you to browse the Internet using the Opera Mini browser or navigate to various other services such as FM Radio, text messaging and email, a photo album, music player and apps such as a calculator, calendar, stopwatch and a text editor.
TelecomTalk notes that Vodafone is currently testing the service in Kerala circle and it will be rolled out publicly in coming days, with a rumored pricing of Rs 5799 ($130), which will include 12GB free data usage and 180 days validity period.
In the meantime, here is a video demo of Vodafone Webbox by Patrick Chomet, Vodafone’s Group Director of Terminals: