Earlier today, Opera unveiled its new Web Pass service, which provides a means for operators to offer pay-as-you-go Internet access to subscribers. The service is being touted as a "one-click experience" that tailors data access to the needs of users who don't have a mobile data plan. A user can shell out $2, for example, to get data access while waiting to catch the bus.
This feature will potentially bring Internet access to those who, for whatever reason, don't have a data plan with their carrier. One of the touted features is the convenience of choosing a web access duration rather than a data limit, such as 100MB. There's no set price for the service, since it would depend on the carrier, which needs to have a deal with Opera in order for subscribers to take advantage of this service.
Opera Software's CEO Lars Boilesen offered this statement. "We see this as a great way of lowering the bar for millions of users who are taking their first steps out to the mobile web. We are excited about working with our operator partners and making the web even more accessible and tailored to the needs of a growing mobile internet community."
For now, DiGi Telecommunications in Malaysia has signed up as the first operator to offer subscribers Web Pass. Subscribers can access the Internet on either an hourly or daily basis, with 1 hour of service costing 1RM and a day of service costing 2RM. Facebook-only service is also provided at half the cost of full web access. Operators can set up their own pricing and access structure, including duration, websites that can be visited, and the cost for each pass.