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Bharti Airtel launches Free Zone service in partnership with Google

Airtel subscribers will be able to access Google services such as Gmail, Google+ and Google search on their mobile phones without any data cost. However, they'll have to pay for advanced services.

BT Online Bureau | June 26, 2013 | Updated 18:30 IST

Bharti Airtel has partnered with Google to launch a service 'Free Zone', wherein subscribers will be able to access Google services such as Gmail, Google+ and Google search on their mobile phones without any data cost.

The users, however, have to pay for advanced services such as attachment downloads.

"...Free Zone powered by Google, will give Airtel mobile customers access to mobile web search and feature phone friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ in India," the telecom service provider said in a statement.

Users can have unlimited access to Gmail from their mobile browser but if they click on a link or attachment within the email they are directed to a page where they can purchase a data package.

"In this market, where feature phones predominate, our association with Google to bring Free Zone 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 Chief Marketing Officer (Consumer Business) N Rajaram said.

Subscribers can search Internet and access the first page of websites from the results for free. If they click further into a website after that, they are directed to a page where they can purchase a data package.

"The mobile Internet user base is growing really fast in India... We hope this initiative will encourage more Indians to experience the value of the Internet and gain from it," Google India VP and Managing Director Rajan Anandan said.

With inputs from PTI

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