Sponsored Data is subscribers' data usage that is paid for by a sponsor.
The sponsor can be anyone ranging from a mobile network operator, third party merchants, content providers or an independent organization.
Sponsored content is also part of sponsored data. The latter provides users an amount of data, say 500KB for free while the former provides users a time-limited or data-limited access to specific content, for example, a video site.
The mobile network operator can provide sponsored data for its subscribers as part of its rewards or loyalty bonus programs.
A merchant can work with a mobile network operator to gift free data for subscribers upon users participating in an action such as watching its video ad online or taking part in a survey.
A content provider can sponsor free data by offering free access to its mobile content and this is typically used to introduce a new content service to users. App providers grant sponsored access to their apps for the same reason.
The government or other independent organizations may also sponsor free data for subscribers to enable certain communities or user groups to have access to useful and important information and services, such as healthcare and education.