AT&T Sponsored Data, paying for your Mobile Internet experience

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Tuesday, 07 January 2014

AT&T Sponsored Data, paying for your Mobile Internet experience

According to the Washington Post AT&T has just announced a new product called Sponsored Data. This allows subscribers to use specific websites without that usage counting against their data caps. Instead of the end user paying for the data third party companies will be fronting the bill saving you from paying more for monthly data. This concept isn’t new, but could be violating the concept of Net Neutrality, which is designed to keep all areas of the Internet open and equal. If third party companies are allowed to pay for data mobile users use that puts a distinct disadvantage on smaller retailers because more traffic will be generated to “paid for” sites where customers don’t need to worry about how much data they use.

Sponsorship deals have already been made with United Health Group, Aquto a mobile advertising platform and Kony Solutions, a company that provides mobile application platforms to businesses. AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told investors that this would prevent data charges from spiraling out of control. AT&T is able to get around standard Internet guidelines because traffic discrimination only applies to wired ISP’s and not cellular carriers. One thing is for certain with Sponsored Data, if you’re not paying for it on your monthly AT&T bill the costs will likely be passed on to you somehow through their sponsors. The days where caps were used as an excuse to manage consumption seem to be going away in favor of anyone willing to pay big bucks to sponsor consumer data across their mobile devices.

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