AT&T is doing it’s part to help their subscribers get their fair share of web connected content at essentially no cost to the customer. When we say cost we’re referring to the cost of a users actual quantified data and not the amount of what it costs to get access to that data usage on their wireless plans. Free data is nothing new, or perhaps more appropriately data consumption that doesn’t count against your monthly allotment in any way. This of course is limited to effecting people who have a data limit in the first place, because yes, there are still wireless customers out there on plans with no data limit at all whether it be from throttling or from a limit on the use altogether.
While AT&T stepping up and making further strides to offer data to users in some way, shape, or form is great, they aren’t the only ones to offer a sponsored data of sorts. T-Mobile is now offering their Music Freedom programs to customers that allows them to stream music unlimited with no constraints as long as the streaming music service is from one of the providers on the pre-set list. T-mobile is also sponsoring the costs of this free streaming themselves meaning they’re eating the cost of what it would normally take to stream that music. AT&T is going at it a little bit differently with plans to offer up sponsored data content in the near future in partnership with a company based out of Seattle, WA called Syntonic Wireless.
Sytonic is just one of many companies that AT&T plans to convince to hop on board with this idea, and basically what it sounds like it will end up providing AT&T subscribers with is a free bucket of data with which to use towards various types of content. Imagine browsing through the Amazon app to search for things you were already planning on buying, but not having it count against your monthly data bucket. Syntonic is putting together a “content marketplace” as its being called which will allow sponsored usage of data required content to users, although it still hasn’t reached a beta status. The app from Syntoinc and AT&T will launch for Android devices before it moves to other mobile platforms. Right now there are no larger companies confirmed as part of the new service to be launched later this year but reports are suggesting that we could be looking at services like Amazon or ebay, and other forms of online retailers as well as content providers.