updated 03:09 pm EST, Mon January 6, 2014
Allows companies to push content without breaking plan limits
AT&T has introduced Sponsored Data, a new program that will allow businesses to cover the costs of data for cellular subscribers, bypassing the caps most mobile plans have. A developer or publisher, for instance, might choose to cover the costs of an app, or a movie studio might pay for trailer downloads. More obscure possibilities include covering the costs of visiting shopping and healthcare websites, paying for internal business-related traffic, or attaching sponsored data to loyalty programs.
The program won't be accessible by prepaid customers, and post-paid subscribers will only have access while on AT&T's US network. Whenever data is free to users, it's expected that some sort of Sponsored Data label will be visible. Some sponsorships may have terms and conditions including expiry dates; in any case, they will only take effect for 4G (HSPA+ and LTE) traffic.