Sponsored data and data rewards offer a strong win-win-win opportunity for mobile operators, sponsors and the right user segments, says Strategy Analytics in its latest report.
Nonetheless, while initial prominent launches of sponsored data offerings by AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and Telefonica caught attention in the last few years, sponsored data is still at an early stage and CSPs around the world have been grappling with how to adopt and grow sponsored data offerings, said the market research firm.
Challenges: Fragmentation of operator offerings has limited early stage growth and awareness among brands and other sponsors, while increased size of data bundles in mobile service and widespread availability of Wi-Fi in some countries has raised doubts among operators in many advanced data markets as to the perceived value of sponsored data for consumers.
Developments: The sponsored data ecosystem is progressing with additional value creation with analytics and feedback loops for campaigns and collaborative efforts focused on ease of onboarding for CSPs and sponsors. This can be seen in Catalyst activities at the TM Forum that involve Orange, Datami, Comptel (now part of Nokia), Sigma, cloudsense and cloudstreet, as well as collaboration between Syntonic and Tata Communications for a cross-operator sponsored data exchange model. The recent acquisition of sponsored data/data rewards pioneer Aquto by Mavenir showcases the value CSPs and their vendors see on new types of monetization opportunities.
Call to Action: More work on brand awareness in particular is needed to drive the market forward—as is further participation and collaboration among CSPs.