If you've noticed that your cellphone provider is getting nicer, you're not imagining things. Whether it's due to increased competition, or a slowdown in their businesses, cellphone providers are enticing you with lots of free stuff.
A while back, AT&T began testing a free-data plan sponsored by advertisers. Now, Verizon is set to launch its own sponsored-data plan.
The way it'll work is that Verizon will offer some of its network to advertisers. Those advertisers will pay to reach smartphone users like you and, in turn, you'll get that time online for free.
Verizon hasn't said yet which advertisers are on board. But Verizon executives have confirmed that they can roll out a sponsored-data plan.
"The capabilities we've built allow us to break down any byte that is carried across our network and have all, or a portion of that, sponsored," Verizon's EVP Marni Walden told reporters.
If Verizon's new sponsored-data deal sounds like the old toll-free calls you used to make using 800 numbers, it's the same idea. With those calls, a company would pay for the call that you made to them.
While Verizon has confirmed that it has the capability for a sponsored-data plan, it has not yet said when it will roll out. However, it's likely to begin soon as a test. Keep reading Happening Now for updates.