AT&T will announce a new program next Tuesday that awards subscribers free broadband when they view ads, discover apps, or buy things from participating advertisers.
The carrier will offer the program, called Data Perks, to its post-paid customers who are signed up with a Mobile Share Value plan. There are about 50 million of them.
AT&T mobile CEO Ralph de la Vega spoke about the new program two weeks ago at the Rutberg Future:Mobile Conference in San Francisco.
AT&T is launching the Data Perks program in partnership with the sponsored data monetization startup Aquto. Aquto is in the business of bringing together brands and wireless carriers to sponsor data service for consumers. It also provides the cloud-based enabling technology used to administer the program.
Aquto CEO Susie Riley told VentureBeat that to many brands it’s a lead generation campaign. Subscribers are rewarded with data when they sign up for services, learn about new products, discover new apps, or click through and purchase something at a brand’s ecommerce site.
If, for example, an AT&T customer bought a DVD from a participating brand, they might be awarded with a gigabyte of data that they could use to browse any site, anywhere on the web, Riley said.
Subscribers accumulate their data credits in their Data Perks account, then transfer the data into their AT&T wireless account when they want.
AT&T denies its participation in the program. “We do not have any agreement to announce and have made no announcement about a new data program,” the company said in a statement to VentureBeat Thursday morning.
Boston-based Aquto has been around for three years, and is backed by Matrix Partners and North Bridge. The company has already entered deals to set up sponsored data with wireless carriers in Europe and Asia, Riley said.
Updated June 11 8:30 a.m. with AT&T statement.