Following the success of Pokemon Go location/augmented reality app, a number of operators are looking to join the fray.
Unsurprisingly, the US players are leading the way, as it is in this market that the app has picked up most speed (it was also in the first tranche of launches).
T-Mobile US is extending its ‘T-Mobile Tuesday’ rewards programme to offer free, unlimited data for Pokemon Go for a full year, with discounts on accessories such as battery packs, and prizes of $100 in the PokeCoins in-app currency or “hunting trips” in the US.
Rival Sprint, meanwhile, has said that its retail stores “will have lures to attract monsters that players can capture”, with free charging stations and “knowledgeable on-site Pokemon Go experts that can help beginners learn the game or more advanced hunters with strategy and location of Gyms and PokeStops”.
Outside of the US, UK operator EE said that more than half a million new players joined Pokemon Go on its network yesterday as the app officially launched. It said it saw six new “Pokemon trainers” created every second, and the game continues to see the fastest take-up of any game seen on the network.
EE said that 350,000 users were playing Pokemon Go ahead of its official UK launch, for example using VPNs to access Google Play and Apple’s App Store from an overseas IP address.
Network analytics firm P3 said that based on data collected from 100 smartphone users across 3,000 app sessions, Pokemon Go consumes 5Mb to 10Mb of data per hour – far less than video streaming, for example.
It said a user with a 2GB data plan would have to play seven hours per day for 30 days to run out of data – but the average Pokemon Go session lasts 100 seconds, with an average data consumption of 200Kb.