Updated: AT&T launches new program with Aquto to give subs data for looking at ads

AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) is partnering with data monetization firm Aquto on a new program that offers customers the ability to get free mobile data if they look at advertising and surveys from marketers and in some cases, by buying products.

The program, called "Data Perks," was first disclosed by Aquto in June, but at the time AT&T said it was not officially part of any new program, suggesting that Aquto jumped the gun. Data Perks will be a free app customers can download from Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) App Store and Google's (NASDAQ: GOOG) Play Store, though only consumer postpaid customers will be eligible for the program.  

According to Aquto, customers who use the app can accumulate data and transfer up to 1,000 MB per bill period – roughly 1 GB of data -- to their AT&T account through the Data Perks app. They can then use their transferred data during that billing period while using AT&T's wireless networks, though according to AT&T, the earned data needs to be transferred in 25 MB increments. Unused transferred data expires at the end of the billing period in which customers transferred it.

Data Perks will initially include offers from major brands including Fandango, Hotel Tonight, Rosetta Stone and more. AT&T customers will see offers from these brands, can sign up for trials, purchase products and engage in other activities to get more data.

Importantly, AT&T said the data customers transfer from their Data Perks account to an AT&T account will be used before their monthly plan data allowance.

Also, when customers browse pages within the Data Perks app -- including all menu, category, transfer and help pages -- the data used does not count against customers' wireless data plans. However, unless the customer is connected to Wi-Fi, data used outside the app will count against their bucket.

AT&T said that if customers have transferred the maximum number of megabytes for the month and still have earned data remaining in their Data Perks account, the data will be available for them to transfer at the beginning of their next bill period. Earned data is stored in the Data Perks app as long as the app remains available, provided customers enter the app and verify their eligibility at least once every 12 months.

For customers with Mobile Share Value shared data plans, AT&T said that each smartphone user on the plan can earn data with Data Perks, but that the earned data cannot be shared with other family members. "Earned data can only be transferred to and used by the individual smartphone line on which the data was earned," AT&T said on its website. "Data cannot be shared with or transferred to other smartphone lines on the same Mobile Share Value plan at this time. We are working on replacing line-level data transfers with the ability to share your earned data across users on the same Mobile Share Value plan."

For more:
- see this release
- see this AT&T website

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Correction, Oct. 26, 2015: This article incorrectly referred to Data Perks as a sponsored data program. In fact, it is separate program from AT&T's Sponsored Data program, which counts Aquto as a partner.

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