Opera Software has just announced Sponsored Web Pass, a free mobile data package that will be offered to operator subscribers just for the cost of seeing some advertisements. Users will be able to get “one day of mobile internet”, or “one hour of Twitter usage”, a free mobile internet access that has been sponsored by an advertiser partnering with the carrier.
After the Sponsored Web Pass expires, there’s the option to purchase a paid Web Pass to continue browse or watch another ad to continue the cost-free browsing. My personal input on this is that Opera’s Sponsored Web Pass will have success especially in developing markets. Nuno Sitima, SVP of Business Development at Opera Softwar said the following:
Sponsored Web Pass gives operators a unique channel to partner with the advertisers and content providers who are already driving traffic across their networks, and helps both parties to participate in monetization of that traffic. This is an excellent way for operators to bring new users onto the mobile internet while introducing them to new, easy-to-understand data packages.
Sponsored Web Pass is the ad-supported version of Web Pass which Opera launched last year for mobile users without a data plan. This way, carriers were using the Web Pass to sell time-based or content-based access to mobile subscribers using Opera Mini. Opera’s browser for mobile device is known to have data-saving features, so this new product is a good way to get some promotion for it, as well.
Among the biggest carriers that offer Web Pass we find Digi, the third largest mobile operator in Malaysia, Amsterdam headquartered VimpelCom, and Airtel which rolled-out Web Pass for several African markets. Besides its browser products, Opera has an Android data-compression tool called Opera Max and Horizon, a social browsing tool bar. Opera has over 260 million mobile users worldwide and has seen a significant growth in its business for the past years.