AT&T Really Wants Automakers as Sponsored Data Partners
AT&T's Sponsored Data -- which exempts a company's content from AT&T's arbitrary caps if they pay AT&T a fee -- so far hasn't seen much interest from major companies
. While a few smaller outfits have signed up, larger companies either don't want to pay -- or don't want to take part in the neutrality controversy surrounding AT&T's idea. One industry AT&T really wants signed up for sponsored data appears to be the auto industry
"We're not done exploring all the different options," (AT&T executive Chris Penrose) said. "You heard us announce Sponsored Data earlier this year. I think that can play inside the vehicle." Penrose also said that restaurant chains or social networking companies are potential sponsors of in-car connectivity, such as using LTE to launch a Wi-Fi hotspot for Wi-Fi-only devices a customer might bring into the car. "I think there are lot of different billing models that we're going to explore," he said. "We're going to see what's working."
Critics have charged that AT&T's Sponsored Data unlevels the playing field by allowing larger, deeper-pocketed companies a way to pay for their content to see priority status.