Innovation That Matters

Sponsored apps exchange free data for usage


mCent app store rewards users with mobile data when they download and use sponsored apps.

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Sponsored content is emerging as a source to fund mobile data for users in developing markets — we’ve already seen how adverts pushed to users’ lock screens can pay for data. A new app from Jana is proving mutually beneficial to users and businesses.


mCent works like an app store but gives customers the added benefit of earning mobile internet time — each time a user downloads a sponsored app, such as Amazon, they receive mobile data minutes, which increase according to how long they spend browsing the app. Users can spend the minutes as they please, while businesses gain access to previously inaccessible users. mCent is available on Google Play, and recently recorded its 1000th unique app.

The mCent model provides an alternative to the controversial Free Basics model Facebook recently attempted to launch in India. What other models of sponsored content can provide free internet access in developing markets?



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