AT&T Announces Sponsored Data Plans at CES 2014


Customers love free data, and that’s just what AT&T is offering.

In a press release from yesterday, AT&T said that businesses will be able to sponsor data for customers, meaning that the data costs for the end user will be free.

AT&T says that Sponsored Data will be delivered at the same speed and performance as normal data usage.

Some usage examples AT&T provided include:

Encouraging customers to try a new smartphone or tablet app.
Promoting movie trailers or games.
Providing patient healthcare support via wellness videos.
Encouraging customers to browse mobile shopping sites.
Allowing businesses with ‘Bring Your Own Device’ policies to pay for the data employees use for specific business-related apps and services.
Enhancing customer loyalty programs by providing sponsored data access to products and services.

Still, not everyone is cheery regarding the new service.

One house Democrat slammed the new service. Anna Eshoo of California said, “On its face, the ability for consumers to access ‘toll-free’ content seems like long-awaited relief from frustrating data caps. But embedded in programs of this type are serious implications for fairness and competition in the mobile marketplace. And we must ask just how beneficial a program like this is to consumers who could ultimately foot the bill for the added cost of doing business.”

AT&T says the service is “coming soon,” but did not give a specific date.

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