back to article Data caps be damned, AT&T says providers can pay for mobile broadband

AT&T has unveiled a scheme which will allow web service providers to pay for the data bandwidth customers use. The company said that its Sponsored Data service will bill content providers, rather than customers, for the broadband data consumed by a service. Any content accessed via the service will not be counted towards a …


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  1. cyke1

    "And that’s what makes this a win-win for customers and businesses"

    no its makes it a lose-lose for customers and business's cause they are charging both sides. only AT&T wins with making a ton $ either way.

  2. JoeF

    AT&T should just increase their data caps than these gimmicks.

    Others, like T-Mobile, offer twice the data on LTE (and unlimited 3G after that) for less money.

  3. R 11

    So, can I buy 100TB of AT&T data for my app, then sell a browser app with a per gb charge lower than AT&T's consumer data rate? If I faced AT&T's charges, I'd happily pay for Chrome or Firefox by montly subscription if they came with a data allowance.

    1. pierce
      Big Brother

      no, no, you can't pay for firefox or chrome. youtube and google and netflix will have to pay AT&T to let you access them without a data cap.

  4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    Mobile data caps?

    I remember those!

    It wasn't all that long ago that the USA was way cheaper for internet (and comms in general) access than the UK.

    Free local calls and phones in the bedroom were just a teenagers wet dream

  5. John Robson Silver badge

    sideloaded adverts of course....

    cost extra

  6. SiempreTuna

    Sub Fail ..

    .. or Google translate?

    Somebody's clearly having a bad morning

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ditch AT&T

    Net neutrality ridden over rough shod.

  8. Uncle Ron

    What a CROCK

    This is AT&T nonsense!! US consumers should press hard to remove all data caps and to be charged what data actually costs, which is NEARLY NOTHING. The incremental cost of delivering a Gigabyte of data over cable is less than a penny. Mobile is more, but not much. VERY PROFITABLE. Carriers in the USA want nothing more than to get consumers used to paying by the bit.

    Carriers want us to get used to $100, $200, $300 a month bills. For something that costs them $1 or $2 or $3. But they know that consumers will balk at also actually paying for advertising. Only a corrupt regulatory, legislative, and MEDIA environment would allow this. It's why the USA is behind even South Korea (!) in the performance and cost of broadband.

    BTW, this is why Google is pushing so hard to implement cheap, Gigabit fiber broadband. They need cheap, very fast broadband to push fast, rich advertising everywhere that users won't push back on...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a CROCK

      As it's such a profitable industry to be in, why isn't there more competition trygin to get a slice of the pie?

      Is it because it's so hard to get established in the first place?

      The UK is far less geographically spread-out and therefore costs are far lower then in the US. Perhaps this makes it harder to enter the market?

      I just don't get why the leading capitalist country in the world has such high pricing, and competition isn't driving cost downwards. Happy to receive recommended reading material to understand this better.

      Also, does USA have any 'free' mobile service providers now? (like 'ovivo' in the UK) ?

      1. Fatman Silver badge

        Re: What a CROCK

        As it's such a profitable industry to be in, why isn't there more competition trygin to get a slice of the pie?

        Is it because it's so hard to get established in the first place?

        Which is due in part to municipal exclusivity agreements which lock out competition.

        1. Bored in Portland

          Re: What a CROCK

          Municipal exclusivity, and purchased legislation through our corrupt congress, that's why we have some of the highest broadband prices-wireless is no different.

      2. Tom 13

        Re: Happy to receive recommended reading material

        There's not a lot that is concisely targeted and written. Short answer: Lobbyists, just not the ones you usually think of.

        The broadband market here is a mess because you have to get permits from the local governments to build out your services (run cabling, put in cell towers, etc.). In most places the rules are complex, arcane, and expensive* so they had a single incumbent providing service. In the old days it was because the locals put together the cable company and after many hard years of scraping by finally had a usable service. Then came the buyouts which eventually mostly became Comcast. Meanwhile Ma Bell was a government sponsored monopoly since day 1 and was only broken up as a result of the Sprint case (wireless I think, although it may have been about long distance rates which used to subsidize monthly service). The fallout is that we have oligopoly competition with high barriers to entry. And any time a start up makes a run in a given location, the competitive response can't be differentiated from the undercutting response so eventually the new guy either goes under or get bought out.

        *Even Dish, which theoretically has fewer issues on this front ran into problems with local governments passing zoning laws about where the receiver dish could be placed and how big it could be. To some extent reasonable, but the limits were excessive.

    2. Christopher W

      Re: What a CROCK

      Ah, but whilst the net cost of the data itself once the infrastructure is in place might be less than a penny, you still have to pay for the capital outlay, the building of the masts, the configuration of the infrastructure, the hiring of network admins to keep the thing running... When mobile networks become 100% autonomous with self-healing systems, then I'd expect data costs to drop. Until that point I can understand why a company would seek to claw back some of its investment!

      This doesn't excuse some of the methods they use to attempt to claw back said investment... In the UK, Three have made a big play for customer opinion by basically making their 3G (and 4G) data uncapped and unlimited usage for what is a marvellously reasonable price - £15 a month. You're throttled if you're in the top 5% of customers in the country by data consumption, but some people apparently do in the region of 1 TB (yes, terabyte) per month with MyFis and it works great. I did 18 GB through my phone last month! And to add to that, they just announced a roaming arrangement with a US carrier which allows you to roam and use voice and data for no additional cost over your tariff... Actually groundbreaking!

      Change is coming, it's just slow to arrive. Perhaps lots of Yanks will begin to sign up for UK mobile service then permanently roam in the States ;-)

  9. phil dude
    Thumb Up

    no caps

    on t-mobile. Just saying. Yes, gets slower, but 2G is sufficient for many things...


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