AT&T will soon rollout a new program that will allow customers to use AT&T's LTE network at no additional charge on top of their monthly data allotment. Sponsored Data, as it's being called, participating companies can pay when AT&T customers view their content on the network, things like movie trailers, mobile shopping, and more, and in return, they get your data. AT&T announced the initiative in a press release today:
With the new Sponsored Data service, data charges resulting from eligible uses will be billed directly to the sponsoring company; the customer simply enjoys their content via AT&T’s wireless data network. Customers will see the service offered as AT&T Sponsored Data, and the usage will appear on their monthly invoice as Sponsored Data. Sponsored Data will be delivered at the same speed and performance as any non-Sponsored Data content.
On the face of it, this is a useful move for consumers, giving them more flexibility in viewing content that they would look at anyway, without charging any more for it. But there are some important questions here. For one, AT&T says that Sponsored Data is delivered at the same speed as non-Sponsored Data, but is it only a matter of time before Sponsored Data takes priority? Additionally, AT&T implemented capped data a few years ago while saying that it was about easing network congestion. But if they're worried about congestion, how is letting their customers use more data without additional financial cost helping?
What do you think about AT&T's Sponsored Data program? Let us know in the comments.