Opera takes browser-based angle on sponsored data delivery

Norwegian software developer Opera Software on Friday introduced a new spin on the sponsored data model, giving operators a way of subsidising the cost of content delivery.

Sponsored Web Pass capitalises on Opera’s control of the browser on over 200 million devices worldwide, inserting an advertisement from a sponsor before allowing users to continue to certain content or a data allowance.

By way of example, a user can get “one day of mobile internet”, or “one hour of Twitter usage” sponsored by an advertiser, Opera said.

When the Sponsored Web Pass expires, users are given the option to continue browsing after purchasing a paid Web Pass, or to re-engage with different sponsors and continue browsing at no charge.

“Sponsored Web Pass gives operators a unique channel to partner with the advertisers and content providers who are already driving traffic across their networks, and helps both parties to participate in monetization of that traffic,” said Nuno Sitima, SVP of Business Development at Opera Software. “This is an excellent way for operators to bring new users onto the mobile internet while introducing them to new, easy-to-understand data packages.”

It was AT&T that recently made the industry’s first move on a sponsored data service, with an offering for advertisers that allows businesses to cover the transmission cost of content they provide to consumers.

The Sponsored Data service enables customers to view sponsored content and use apps over AT&T’s HSPA+ and LTE networks without that data usage coming out of their monthly wireless data plan.

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