Bharti Airtel and Google today announced the launch of Free Zone, which will give Airtel mobile customers access to mobile web search and feature-phone-friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ in India. The first page of a website linked from search results is provided at no data cost.
Airtel mobile customers can access the service by visiting www.airtel.in/freezone and simply start using the Internet without having to sign in to the service. Any user can create a Gmail account instantly on the Free Zone homepage and enjoy a multitude of connectivity and social media services from Google.
Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director, Google India said, “The mobile Internet user base is growing really fast in India. Working with Airtel on this exciting trial means that we can offer Internet services at no cost to anyone with a phone. This gives people easier access to information in a way that benefits everyone, whether it’s an individual or a small business that wants to reach more people on the web. We hope this initiative will encourage more Indians to experience the value of the Internet and gain from it.”
He further added, “Students can easily look up for facts to work on their assignments, housewives will be able to easily check on recipes and connect with their friends and family from their mobile phones.”
Airtel subscribers will not incur any data charges to access these services (Google Search, Gmail, Google+) on Free Zone powered by Google, but to access more advanced services such as attachment download or browse through to web sites from the ones accessed in the Free Zone would be enabled through the subscription to a standard data package.