Microsoft’s latest shift away from the high-end with its latest Lumia smartphones may have also signaled another shift in the way it will push future updates to customers and mobile carriers, as the latest updates to its developer and OEM support portals have detailed a new method for delivering updates to Lumia smartphones over cellular connections without them counting against subscriber data plans, more commonly known in the mobile industry as ‘zero rating’.
This topic shows how Mobile Operators (MOs) can enable and test Windows Phone updates to work with zero-rating. Zero-rating allows users to download data, such as device updates, without being charged for data usage. The method used in this topic prevents updates for non-Windows Phone devices connected via Internet Connection Sharing (ICS) from being zero-rated.
Add the following two URLs to your network as zero-rated sites:
Once those URLs are zero-rated, there are no more actions to take to get zero rating in place. It will be effective for all Windows Phone devices (both operator variant and open market devices). The first eligible update for zero rating is Windows Phone 8.1 GDR1.
The above suggests that Microsoft is now focused on pushing mobile operators to allow its updates over cellular data networks without customers bearing the brunt of the costs for such updates, while the OEM update suggests that update packages can now be customized to be larger than the current suggested 100MB limit with the advent of the zero rating option Whether carriers will take up Microsoft on the capability remains to be seen, but the fact that a major manufacturer is suggesting the option is rather novel, especially as operating system updates become ever more important.