Bharti Airtel and Google have partnered to launch FreeZone, which will give Airtel mobile customers access to mobile web search and feature-phone-friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ in India.
According to the companies, FreeZone aims to put the web in the hands of more people and empower first time internet users with several services of Google. Through this campaign, Airtel mobile customers will be offered unlimited access to Gmail from their mobile browser, Google+ and Google Search, where users can search the entire internet and access the first page of websites from the results for free. If they click further into a website after that, they will be directed to a page where they can purchase a data package.
Airtel subscribers will not incur any data charges to access these services on FreeZone powered by Google. Access to more advanced services such as attachment download will be enabled through subscription of a standard data package. When users leave FreeZone to navigate deeper into a website or download an attachment, they are informed about the data charges and given the option to purchase an appropriate data package.
N Rajaram, chief marketing officer, consumer business, Bharti Airtel, states, "As the country's leading telecom services provider, we at Airtel are constantly looking for new ways of exciting more and more of our 200 million plus customers in India about the data experience. In this market, where feature phones predominate, our association with Google to bring FreeZone to India will encourage millions of users to discover the power of mobile internet for the very first time and leverage the amazing world of information search, email and social collaboration - at no incremental cost."
Bharti Airtel currently operates in 20 countries across Asia and Africa, has over 275 million customers across its operations and is a market leader in India with more than 189 mobile customers at the end of May, 2013.