AT&T’s sponsored data program has been a source of negativity toward the company due to its obvious implications for net neutrality. AT&T has been shining this in good light for the consumer the entire time, making particular services not have to count toward user’s data caps, which as we all know are more precious than the One Ring. Now, a company called Syntonic Wireless is partnering with AT&T to make it easier for third parties to make their service’s data not count toward user’s data caps, and in turn, giving more cap room for users.
Syntonic Will Be The Middle Man
The idea behind Syntonic’s project is to basically become a middle-man between services that people want to use and give users a one-stop shop for using all of those services without having to worry about using their carrier data. As of right now the project has 35 participating services, including MLB, Facebook, ESPN, Groupon, Rolling Stone Magazine, and Amazon, according to the original report.
According to a report from FierceWireless, it is a content store that you, but not in the traditional sense of the word. It’s not going to be an app store, but more of a portal to web apps that are being provided by each of the service providers. This way, Syntonic’s app will be the one registered as the data user when AT&T sees the data usage and will be disregarded. It’s likely that a system like this will have a negative impact on the quality of the application since it won’t be a local application built for the platform.
It also appears that users will be able to track how much data they will have saved by using the app, based on the screenshot above courtesy of FierceWirless, giving users a better way to see how useful this service is to them, hopefully increasing usage and users.
AT&T’s first subscriber to the sponsored data program was Beat’s Music, which is now a property of Apple, allowing users to stream music to their devices without having to be concerned with data overages. If Syntonic is able to secure other services like this such as Spotify, Pandora, Google Play Music, or iTunes Radio, this will probably become a much more appealing service to users, considering the amount of savings they would be looking at since audio and video services use a lot more data than the text and photo-based services that have already signed on.
T-Mobile recently announced that they would be working with content providers like those mentioned above to allow users on their network to stream music to their phones without having to worry about their “data caps,” but they plan on absorbing that cost, rather than charging the respective streaming services for their participation.
According to the Ars report, though Syntonic’s app is currently for Android only and only available to users via an invitation system, they have plans on expanding to iOS and tablets very soon.
If you’re an AT&T subscriber, does something like this appeal to you or do you think that its too much of a blow to net neutrality? Conversely, is net neutrality already too far gone? Tell us all of your thoughts and concerns in the comment section, below.