Mobile

AT&T Eyes Ad-Supported Billing Options

AT&T is considering new phone plans in which the customer could get a discount for letting the company put ads on their smartphone, Reuters reported.

CEO John Stankey said the new plans, which could allow for a $5 or $10 reduction in their bill, could be rolled out by next year.

The move would signal the commitment the company has toward advertising. AT&T's planned launch of the ad-supported version of video-streaming service HBOMax would be the jump-off point for the ad-supported phone plans, Reuters reported.

Engineers with the company are working on "unified customer identifiers," Stankey said, which could allow marketers to identify users across multiple devices and target ads to them. That, in turn, would allow the company to sell ads at higher rates.

Stankey said he wants to accelerate AT&T's moves to expand its advertising market to let advertisers use the company's data for other media companies' audiences. AT&T's Xandr struck a deal in March with Walt Disney Co. and AMC Networks to let advertisers buy TV commercials across the networks, Reuters reported.

But the company could face trouble in the future because of privacy concerns, according to Reuters. Users have continually expressed concern over their data being used across different platforms. Laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act, which gives consumers more control over how their data is used, have added to the protections. As such, Stankey said he doesn't know how long the company could count on using non-AT&T data, Reuters reported.

In other AT&T news, the company's 5G network went live across the U.S. in July, PYMNTS reported. AT&T Communications CEO Jeff McElfresh said the development is significant because of the much higher need for quality wireless internet during the pandemic, as everyone relies more on digital means than before.

PYMNTS reported that AT&T's 5G includes benefits like nationwide connectivity, fast downloads and little lag time, along with bandwidth space to handle numerous devices at the same time.

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NEW PYMNTS STUDY: ACCELERATING THE REAL-TIME PAYMENTS DEMAND CURVE – NOVEMBER 2020

About: Accelerating The Real-Time Payments Demand Curve:What Banks Need To Know About What Consumers Want And Need, PYMNTS  examines consumers’ understanding of real-time payments and the methods they use for different types of payments. The report explores consumers’ interest in real-time payments and their willingness to switch to financial institutions that offer such capabilities.

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