AT&T (T) Sponsored Data Lets Advertisers Pay for Smartphone Data

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- AT&T (T) will soon let advertisers pay for data that smartphone users consume when viewing their ads.

Shares of AT&T rose 0.3% to $34.92 on Monday.

The new program, which AT&T calls Sponsored Data, doesn't charge smartphone users for data when viewing paid content from one of the carrier's partners. AT&T has three partners for the start of the program: smartphone ad platform Aquto, business app developer Kony Solutions, and health care company UnitedHealth (UNH).

All ads that are part of Sponsored Data will display an icon telling users they won't be charged data for viewing them. Other carriers may soon roll out similar plans that let advertisers pay for user's data when viewing ads. According to The New York Time Verizon (VZ) is testing a similar program for its network.

TheStreet Ratings team rates AT&T as a "buy" with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate AT&T INC (T) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows weak operating cash flow."

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