The other day, Fierce Wireless had a special report on the subject of "Toll Free Data." It's concise, timely and relevant to the changing market of mobile data where consumption is going to outstrip plans sometime soon. But, it's anything but news to me. In the past, I have written about the concept of "Sending Party Pays" which is identical to Toll Free Data. Sending Party Pays is the phrase pal Martin Geddes proffered up at least three, if not four years ago, over dinner at Smiths of Smithfield in London.
It's a subject I have mentioned relative to Sponsored Wi-Fi Access (November 2009), How the iPad would bring the model to content providers (May 2010) and again in Sending Party Pays (December 2010) in relation to a Bloomberg story about European mobile operators asking Apple and Google to Pay Up in relation to Facebook and other heavy traffic.
I don't believe that Toll Free Data or Sending Party Pays is an aberration, but actually is truly the way things will go as already as the report points out, it's being done, and has been done for a few years by Amazon with their 3G Kindle devices. To me, it's a "when" not an "if".