HBO Max Won’t Count Toward AT&T Mobile Data Caps

AT&T, the parent company of HBO Max, says that the streaming service won’t affect AT&T mobile data caps.

The question about whether AT&T customers could hit thei data cap by streaming HBO Max was asked on Vergecast, a podcast from The Verge, in a conversation with AT&T exec Tony Goncalves. While Goncalves didn’t have a definite answer at the time, AT&T came back to The Verge with a statement later, saying that “HBO Max will be excused from the company’s traditional data caps and the soft data caps on unlimited plans.”

The exclusion is possible because of AT&T’s sponsored data service. Here’s how AT&T described the service:

Sponsored Data is a service that enables companies to sponsor the data usage for specific content on behalf of eligible AT&T wireless customers. With Sponsored Data, customers can browse, stream and enjoy content from our data sponsors without impacting their monthly data plan allowance.

Any service can choose to “sponsor” the data AT&T customers use in order to use the service. Because HBO Max is owned by AT&T, there isn’t any cost involved. The data fee and revenue from HBO Max even out for the company.

Other streaming services, including Disney+ and Netflix, would have to pay the fee and understandably don’t want to cover that cost, so data used for those services count toward an AT&T customer’s data cap.

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