AT&T Sponsored Data – How It Works
Hopefully some of you attended the AT&T Developer Summit or had a chance to watch the Live Stream. We work hard to put on a great event for our developer community, and this summit seemed to be particularly fun (and Macklemore and Ryan Lewis put on a great concert). There were several big announcements including AT&T Drive Studio and the Asus Padfone X—but this blog will focus on AT&T Sponsored Data.
This technology makes us particularly proud because AT&T is the first carrier to offer this on LTE. It provides some great opportunities for our developers and super benefits for our customers. For those of you who are not familiar with this service, it enables companies to sponsor the data usage for specific content on behalf of eligible AT&T wireless customers (post-paid or Data Connect Pass). With AT&T Sponsored Data customers can browse, stream, and enjoy applications from our data sponsors without using their monthly data plan allowance.
John Donovan led a great panel in the keynote that included Susie Kim Riley (Aquto Founder and CEO), Bud Flagstad (SVP Software Innovation and Technical Product Services, United Health Group) and Sir Ramanathan (Kony CTO). Here is a sample use case for United Health Group. One of their customers may be accessing their application to watch an educational video. The customer sees the Sponsored Data name, identifying that the video data costs are covered. When the customer clicks the icon to play the video, the data usage incurred while watching the video is not applied to the customer’s monthly data plan.
Here is another use case scenario that Ericsson showed in the main CES Demo area from Aquto. They had a bus stop, and there was a poster ad on the wall. There was a NFC tag that included the Sponsored Data name. The customer tapped their phone to the ad and then received video that also was not applied to their data plan. When we talked to the Ericsson reps, they said customer reaction was very positive.
For our developers, the process is more similar to U-verse than our Restful APIs. In particular, the developer does not add the API to their app, rather the developer will register the URL and other information with AT&T and then we will process a sponsored billing record. Developers will also go through a workflow and answer questions that will allow them to customize the service based on criteria and limit the amount of Sponsored Data for which they are responsible. We will provide full analytics since this seems to be the best way to help developers manage this.
We are very excited about this and encourage you to send email to email@example.com to learn more or ask questions not covered in our FAQ. As we have case studies, we will make sure to share them with you.