Verizon (VZ) will begin testing sponsored data, aka “toll-free” data, that enables consumers to access specific content without affecting their own data plans. Here’s everything you need to know.
Verizon Executive Vice President Marni Walden
Verizon (VZ) is taking “toll-free” to the next level for smartphone and tablet users.
The American broadband and telecommunications company has announced it will begin testing sponsored data, aka toll-free data, that enables consumers to access specific content without affecting their own data plans.
With toll-free data, a telecommunications provider enables consumers to access specific content on their mobile devices without impacting users’ data plans. Instead, the business itself pays for the data.
And ultimately, toll-free data could help Verizon customers access sponsored content without having to worry about how it may impact their monthly data plans.
“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,” Verizon Executive Vice President Marni Walden told Re/code.
Verizon will test sponsored data with a limited number of partners initially. However, Walden pointed out her company expects the feature to be available commercially early next year.
In addition, the introduction of toll-free data could help Verizon compete with AT&T (T), which announced a sponsored data service for mobile subscribers in Jan. 2014.
AT&T said its sponsored data service enables fourth-generation (4G) customers to access mobile content and apps over its wireless network without affecting their monthly wireless plans.