It is no secret that carriers seem to believe data is the key to attracting and holding on to customers. While the purpose of a phone was initially to make and receive calls, it would seem the purpose of a smartphone is to make use of data by connecting to the internet, apps and just about everything else. With so many aspects of a smartphone, data-dependent, instead of simply lowering the costs of data to begin with, carriers have looked to adopt measures which offer a reduced consumption of the data a consumer pays for. Same cost in monetary terms, but less data consumed by daily activity and therefore, more data for your buck.
Some of the biggest data moves of late have come from T-Mobile, who has looked to completely omit data charges for the most commonly data-heavy entities, namely the streaming of music and video. As such, if you subscribe to a qualifying plan, you can stream movies and music and not use up your allocated data, which can be then saved for other data-demanding services. However, another route carriers have been looking at in the last couple of years, namely Verizon and AT&T, is the notion of 'sponsored data'. This is where a consumer still pays for their data at the normal monthly rate, and still uses their data at the normal chargeable rate, only, it is not the consumer paying for the sponsored data, it is someone else. A notion which has attracted a matter of debate and especially in regards to whether this is something which does breach the more recently introduced rules regarding Net Neutrality.
In the case of Verizon, it is now being reported that the carrier plans to start testing their sponsored data options in the coming days. The information is said to have come from Verizon EVP, Marni Walden, who also went on to confirm that the commercial aspect of the service will see a much greater rolling out in the first few months of next year. According to Walden, "The capabilities we've built allow us to break down any byte that is carried across our network and have all or a portion of that sponsored".