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Using advertising as a customer engagement tool can be a highly effective way for telcos to engage in mobile advertising. In this report, we assess the options available, to help telcos select the right strategy for their business needs.


  • In a converged communications and digital media environment, telcos not only have to differentiate against other telcos but also OTT players. This can be difficult if based on standard service parameters alone, which is where ad-driven loyalty schemes based on strong brand partnerships can help.
  • There is a large pool of parties that could potentially become data sponsors. Consumer retail brands and content providers are the most active sponsors today, but future sponsors could include OEMs and enterprises in the corporate sector and verticals such as education, health, and financial services.
  • Unmetered access will prompt consumers to more readily engage with a sponsor’s service and/or advertising message. For example, consumers might be more inclined to click on a video or download an app if they knew that watching it will not eat into their data allowance.

Features and Benefits

  • Explains how to maximise opportunities for sponsored data plans and sponsored data rewards.
  • Lists the key requirements for a successful ad-driven loyalty program.
  • Includes detailed best practice case studies from China Telecom, AT&T, and Telefonica/O2.

Key questions answered

  • What is the difference between sponsored data and data rewards? Which works best and why?
  • Are there any net neutrality issues for sponsored data, and if so what measures can be taken?
  • What are the key features of a well-designed sponsored data plan?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Market status

  • Advertising as a customer engagement tool
  • Ad-driven loyalty schemes
  • Sponsored data plans
  • Sponsored data rewards

Market dynamics

  • An emerging ecosystem for sponsored data
  • Sponsored data: benefits to stakeholders
  • Sponsored data and net neutrality

Market outlook

  • Good prospects for sponsored data in emerging markets
  • Ad-driven loyalty will gain traction, but not overnight
  • Recommendations: Ad-driven loyalty schemes
  • Recommendations: Sponsored data


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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