Opera unveiled Sponsored Web Pass, a new service that allows advertisers to sponsor a free Internet access for a limited time. The idea is simple – if a user agrees to the proposition, he/she will first see the ad before visiting some website. After the predefined period of time expires, the user can either see a new ad to get another chunk for free mobile Internet access, or purchase a paid Web Pass.
Opera’s new service builds on top of their earlier effort called Opera Web Pass, which allowed operators to offer time or site-specific mobile Internet offerings to their users. This scheme was adopted by several carriers around the world such as Airtel in Africa, MTS in Ukraine, and Avea in Turkey. Both the Opera Sponsored Web Pass and Opera Web Pass are designed to help operators increase their ARPU while spurring mobile Internet adoption.
Also worth mentioning is that AT&T has something similar; its Sponsored Data service, however, is more controversial as it could allow big companies to offer free fast-speed data when folks are using their [these companies’] apps. In contrast, the Opera Sponsored Web Pass is not limited to any specific company with users being able to browse the entire web.