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AT&T Hosts Developer Summit During CES, Announces “Sponsored Data”

AT&T is hosting its 9th annual Developer Summit in Las Vegas this week, focusing on helping developers bring their app ideas to fruition, and how they can better reach the millions of smartphone customers that exist in this country. One new product which was showcased during the keynote that will soon impact Android users is Sponsored Data

Sponsored data will allow companies to sponsor (pay for) a specific amount of data that is needed to deliver a piece of content to a customer. The content could be the browsing of a website for free, a free app download, a song download, and things of that nature. If the customer isn’t connected to a WiFi network at that given time, the user won’t have to worry about that download taking away from their monthly data allowance. Since it’s sponsored data, you can still utilize AT&T’s 4G LTE network and not pay a penny extra for the content.

As for who can take advantage of AT&T’s newly-announced Sponsored Data feature, customers with an active AT&T account that use a 4G LTE or HSPA+ enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop modem, or hotspot can access the free goodies.

Given the service is very new, it might take some time before you start seeing sponsored data opportunities on the street. Until then, take a peek at the FAQ for the service.

Q: What could a Sponsored Data offer look like?

A: For example, a customer may access an application for healthcare from their insurer. Within the application, there is an educational video. The customer sees the Sponsored Data name, identifying that the video is sponsored. When the customer clicks the icon to play the video, the data usage incurred while watching the video is not applied to the customer’s monthly data allowance.

Q: Where will I find AT&T Sponsored Data?

A: Companies that use the AT&T Sponsored Data service on their website or in their application will notify you directly regarding sponsored data offers, the offer eligibility, expiration and any other details.

Q: Will Sponsored Data cost me anything?

A: AT&T’s Sponsored Data service will be available at no additional cost to the customer. When accessing sponsored content on websites and applications, data usage will not be applied to your usage allowance if you meet eligibility requirements.

For more info, check out the via link below.

Via: AT&T
  • Akusatou

    I’m guessing, nobody took the time to actually read or listen in on the topic. Instead, they opted to just cite that it’s against net neutrality and therefore it is wrong.

    Well… This doesn’t seem to violate net neutrality at all. However, the way I see it is, sponsored data is essentially prepaid data for a specific item. An example would be going to see a movie like Wreck-It-Ralph and getting a free download of their corresponding game. Data charges paid for as well. You aren’t going to be charged any more because you chose to watch another movie. You won’t be charged anything else because you chose to go to another movie theater. They’re simply saying, you’ll get some extra stuff for free because it’s been prepaid for you.

    Think of those text messages that you have to submit for free promos or voting for shows like American Idol. You have to pay for those text messages with the assumption you are on a pay per text plan. In this situation, if you texted the sponsored data company, they would cover the charge instead. If anything, this seems like a fairly good idea. However, this doesn’t mean to drop your guard and just go with it. Careful consideration must be made on how it impacts the marketplace and its effect on net neutrality of course. However, the way I perceive it, this doesn’t seem to affect net neutrality at all. It’s simple a prepaid data plan for very specific items such as advertisements, apps or websites that would otherwise take away from your data plan.

  • EC8CH

    This is just a backdoor way to violate net neutrality and spin it as a benefit to consumers.

    I hate this.

  • laheelahee

    so can i watch the same video 1000 times? just to waste their data?

    • SomeDooD

      And your time.

  • Scott Webber

    This is terrible. I weep for the future.

  • Intellectua1

    About a year and a half ago I got paid to sit in a group with AT&T and discuss data usage, plans for this, and possible names and if it was a good idea etc. Glad to finally see it come to life. You’re supposed to be able to use QR codes on movie posters and when you scan it instead of you getting charged for the data it takes to preview the movie the company who’s advertising picks up the tab. or say you want to go on Amazon and shop for an item. Instead of you paying for the data to browse Amazon they’ll pick up the data tab. It’s a pretty neat idea.. Funny thing: I was the only Android user in the group. And they were really amazed at LBE Security Master (that I was using at the time) and the way I could have apps only connect on wifi and not connect if I was on the network etc. This is actually a cool idea. It’s more to it but I have to think about it.. I forgot all about this.. They made us sign a thing where we couldn’t talk about it and I actually complied, I didn’t even talk to my GF about it..

  • JMonkeYJ

    bye, net neutrality

  • adbFreedom

    Man I dred the day that Verizon finds a way to pull my unlimited data and I have to worry about silly things like data usage

    • tyguy829

      I’m hoping by the time that day comes, tmobile has rolled out a lot of low band spectrum

  • Chris

    With all the privacy issues floating around, I’m curious how this is going to work. How is AT&T going to know that I’m streaming Spotify vs Google Music vs Pandora. . .

    Given, it would be nice for some saying “Hey, if you use Spotify, it doesn’t count against your data cap”. But still, they (being the cell companies) need to know what your data is :/

    • j

      They know exactly where every bit of data is coming from and going to.

  • BigTimmay

    Ugh. Imagine your power company saying “all the electricity used by your whirlpool refrigerator is free, but if you have an LG fridge, you have to pay, while the LG is a cheaper and better product.

    • tyguy829

      yeah this totally violates net neutrality and att is making money doing it. They are becoming as douchey as verizon…

      • Wyatt Neal

        But that’s what makes them money, and that’s what the stock holders want them to do.

      • master94

        becoming? more like they are the same evil douches

  • sagisarius

    This has to be one of their most creative ways yet to try and get around net neutrality. I’m wondering if this one might actually work for a little while… until people realize the data caps are mostly a manufactured emergency.

    • Adrynalyne

      Verizon will follow suit if its a success, mark my words.

    • Michael A.

      Instead of going after customers and blocking sites, they are going after companies and forcing their customers to pay more so companies can pay att to not block them, I mean sponsor them. So I don’t pay more to ATT, but my bank starts charging me more to pay ATT to not block them? Is that How I am reading this sponsor thing?

  • Wyatt Neal

    So instead of charging users insane amounts for data, they’re going to shove the burden to providers with deeper pockets … nice

  • Adrynalyne

    Yo dawg, I heard you liked ads, so we added ads to your service to view our ads, with your ad-driven OS.