by Brent Dirks
January 6, 2014
AT&T has just unveiled an interesting way to help consumers save on wireless data charges. With the new Sponsored Data service, content providers will pick up the tab for selected usage on the carrier’s network. For example, a content provider could pay the charges for customers while they are browsing on a mobile shopping site or trying out a new app. Customers will see the service offered as AT&T Sponsored Data, and the usage will appear on their invoice as sponsored. Sponsored data will be delivered at the same speed and performance as other content. No activation will be needed.
“Customers love mobile content. Whether it’s shopping, banking, entertainment or personal wellness, mobile content is increasingly available for customers almost anywhere and anytime. And that’s what makes this a win-win for customers and businesses – customers just look for the Sponsored Data icon and they know the data related to that particular application or video is provided as a part of their monthly service,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility. “This is an exciting new opportunity for us and, most importantly, our customers.”While I think the program has some very noble uses, like letting businesses with a Bring Your Own Device policy to pay for the data employees use while accessing business-related apps and services, I’m interested to see how well consumers respond to this. Though in the end, I suspect this will be nothing more than a way for companies to increase their mobile advertising and line AT&T pockets with more profit. For other news today, see: Pebble Officially Introduces Its New Steel Smart Watch, T-Mobile And Verizon Announce Wireless Spectrum Swap Worth $2.4 Billion, and Google Paves The Way For Android In The Car With Open Automotive Alliance.