You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Is Streaming Busting Your Mobile Data Plan? Now There’s an App for That

Mobile data hogs on data-capped plans have a new option for avoiding massive overage fees if they’ve been bingeing on video, audio, social media, games or other apps.

A new service, Freeway Overpass, gives users on AT&T and Verizon Wireless usage-capped plans the ability to use an unlimited amount of selected data-heavy mobile apps and content by paying a few dollars per month.

To launch Freeway Overpass, Seattle-based Syntonic has lined up content providers including YouTube, Facebook, Spotify, HBO, Twitter, NBC Sports and ESPN for various all-you-can-eat packages. Netflix is the one notable data-hungry app that’s not currently in the Freeway Overpass mix.

The Overpass unlimited data-access options are available for both single apps and bundles of apps, including one-day, week-long, one-month, and three-month options. The offers vary by carrier and operating system, and include free introductory options, sponsored offers and subscription plans.

For example, unlimited Spotify usage starts at 99 cents per week, while the “Basic Bundle” of YouTube, Spotify, Facebook and Instagram will be $2.99 per week. A bundle of music apps including Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, Spotify and SoundCloud is priced at $1.99 per week or $5.99 per month.

Founded in 2013, Syntonic has launched sponsored-data programs internationally. In the U.S., the company is sharing revenue from Freeway Overpass with AT&T and Verizon. Initially, the challenge was trying to persuade U.S. wireless carriers to buy into “a new and disruptive business model,” said Gary Greenbaum, CEO and co-founder of Syntonic. “The carriers see this as incremental revenue.”

True, both AT&T and Verizon have rolled out unlimited-usage plans — spurred by the moves of T-Mobile, whose standard offers are only unlimited plans. (Incidentally, T-Mobile is now including Netflix for no additional charge to family-plan subscribers with at least two lines.)

But many consumers have stuck with cheaper plans that have monthly data limits, and if they blow past those caps the accompanying overage charges can result in sticker shock. Greenbaum touted Freeway Overpass as a “game-changer” for people who aren’t interested in unlimited wireless plans.

“Not everyone is going to pay the hefty tariff for unlimited data,” he said. “This is going to save consumers money.”

Syntonic’s target market for Freeway Overpass is consumers 18-34 who “are consuming an inordinate amount of data,” said chief marketing officer Ben Rotholtz. “We aren’t replacing your data plan. We’re augmenting it.”

The offers vary depending on apps, carrier and device platform — so Syntonic isn’t publishing standardized pricing for all of its unlimited-data options. More than a dozen bundles are available at launch, including:

  • Basic Bundle: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify
  • “Headphones In”: Amazon Music, iHeart Radio, Pandora, Spotify, and SoundCloud
  • “Data Defense”: Sports bundle with ESPN, Facebook, LiveScore, MLB.com Ballpark, MLS, NBA, NBC Sports, Twitter, and Yahoo! Fantasy Sports
  • “Study Break”: Bumble, HBO Now, Instagram, Lyft, Spotify, Starbucks, Tinder, Twitter, Venmo, and YouTube
  • “Backseat Drivers”: “Cut the Rope: Magic,” Disney Junior, Nick Junior, PBS Kids Video, YouTube Kids

It’s worth noting that both AT&T and Verizon will throttle back speeds for customers on data-capped plans after they hit a certain threshold. In that case, “if you’re in a throttled mode, we can’t do anything because of that,” Greenbaum said.

Freeway is available on Apple’s App Store for iPhone and on Google Play for Android devices.

Watch an intro video on Freeway Overpass:

More Digital

  • Ed Sheeran Shape of You

    Ed Sheeran, Clean Bandit Top Shazam’s 2018 Year-End Lists

    Clean Bandit and Demi Lovato’s song “Solo” was the most-Shazamed song and Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” was the longest running No. 1 track on the service’s global charts, the company revealed today in its year-end lists. Nicky Jam and J Balvin’s “X” was the No. 2 most-Shazamed song and Calvin Harris & Dua Lipa’s “One Kiss” [...]

  • Remote for Android TV-Based TiVo Device

    TiVo FCC Filing Suggests Android TV Device Coming in Time for CES

    A filing for a new TiVo remote control suggests that the company may be getting ready to show an Android TV-based set-top box at CES in Las Vegas next month. The device likely won’t be sold to end users, but instead ship to TV operators looking to combine TiVo’s DVR capabilities with Google’s TV platform. [...]

  • Telemundo to Launch English-Language Newscast With

    Telemundo to Launch First English-Language Newscast on YouTube (EXCLUSIVE)

    NBCUniversal’s Hispanic broadcaster Telemundo is developing its first English-language newscast in collaboration with YouTube in a bid to tap the burgeoning U.S. Hispanic youth demographic. Borne out of a YouTube grant aimed at awarding journalism projects that “elevate quality journalism, evolve business models to drive sustainable growth, and empower news organizations through technological innovation,” Telemundo News’ [...]

  • Wall Street Journal Site Hacked With

    Wall Street Journal Site Hacked With Pro-PewDiePie Message

    PewDiePie’s ongoing battle to keep his channel’s YouTube subscriber count No. 1 ahead of India’s T-Series took another bizarre twist: A branded-content section of the Wall Street Journal’s website was hacked with a fake message apologizing to PewDiePie and urging people to subscribe to his channel. A spokeswoman for Dow Jones & Co., publisher of the [...]

  • YouTube - Comcast Xfinity X1

    YouTube 4K Content Goes Live on Comcast's Xfinity X1 Set-Tops

    Comcast television subscribers can now enjoy YouTube in ultra-high definition: The Google-owned video service is now serving up 4K videos on Comcast’s Xfinity X1 set-top boxes, the cable company announced Monday. X1 owners who also happen to have a X1 voice remote can get access to a curated selection of 4K content by asking the [...]

  • Google - 315 Hudson Street

    Google Plans to Spend Over $1 Billion on New York City Campus

    Google has set plans to dramatically boost its footprint in New York City: The internet giant said it will invest more than $1 billion to establish a new 1.7-million-square-foot campus, Google Hudson Square, in Manhattan. The move is a major part of Google’s expansion plans in the city that will let it more than double [...]

  • Colin Kroll Dead Vine Obit

    HQ Trivia and Vine Co-Founder Colin Kroll Dies at 34

    Colin Kroll, co-founder of the Vine video app and the HQ Trivia game, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment early Sunday of an apparent drug overdose, Variety has confirmed. He was 34. New York Police Department officers responded at 12:18 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, to a call by a woman concerned about Kroll’s well-being. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content