Syntonic Wireless, a Bellevue-based startup founded by two former RealNetworks execs, today announced that it will launch its Syntonic Sponsored Content Store for AT&T mobile subscribers later this summer.
The store, in pre-beta mode and set for official launch in August, allows users to access mobile apps and other content without affecting their data plans. It’s made possible thanks to Syntonic’s cloud-based connected services platform that enables the coupling of content with cellular access.
Back in January, AT&T first announced its sponsored data program to allow businesses to pay for data that a customer uses to access its content. The innovative deal sparked some controversy, though, from those concerned that mobile carriers were making more money even though consumers weren’t seeing reduced costs on their plans.
T-Mobile announced a similar program last month, giving its customers unlimited music streaming without data limits. But, unlike AT&T, it is not using sponsor money and is instead paying the extra costs itself.
Syntonic, meanwhile, launched in 2012 after co-founder Gary Greenbaum became frustrated with the expense incurred from all the device data plans in their multi-device households.
“There had to be a viable alternative for providing anytime, anywhere access to our content,” Greenbaum said. “[Syntonic Wireless] is that alternative, enabling new economic models for monetizing today’s ‘unreachables.’”
Greenbaum, who was a director at both RealNetworks and Microsoft, started the company with Rahul Agarwal, another former director at RealNetworks who most recently founded Adroit Business Solutions.