AT&T partners with Bellevue startup for sponsored data

Bellevue-based Syntonic Wireless and AT&T announced Thursday a partnership to provide the wireless operator’s mobile subscribers with sponsored data through the local startup’s content store application.

The Syntonic Sponsored Content Store is a free application that, once downloaded, will allow eligible AT&T users to access applications and content without tapping their data plans, said Gary Greenbaum, Syntonic Wireless CEO and co-founder. Users will notice an AT&T logo above content where the company is sponsoring that data through Syntonic’s mobile application container.

“So the consumer knows whenever he sees that (AT&T) logo that he’s not paying for that data,” Greenbaum said.

A former Microsoft employee who worked on Window’s mobile broadband platform, Greenbaum said he saw technological advances being made, but not a lot of customers connecting tablets or other mobile devices with data networks. He said 88 percent of tablet owners don’t have a data plan, making them dependent on home Internet and wifi hotspots.

“Once they leave a network, the experience becomes sterile and there’s kind of a reaction from consumers that, ‘We don’t see a need for a data plan,’” Greenbaum said. “… For this to be meaningful, it has to have the content that you want to use.”

The beta version of the Syntonic Sponsored Content Store is now available for Android users and bugs are being fixed in real time, Greenbaum said.

It will soon be available for iOS and tablet devices. The content store is set for broad release in August.

Located in Factoria, Greenbaum said Syntonic is quickly outgrowing its office space, but plans to remain in the Puget Sound area to remain close to its regional partners and recruit talent from its tech sector.


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