Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Google Free Zone

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Google Free Zone is a global initiative undertaken by the Internet company Google in collaboration with mobile phone-based Internet providers , whereby the providers waive data (bandwidth) charges (also known as zero-rate) for accessing select Google products such as Google Search, Gmail, and Google+. In order for this service to work on your mobile phone, you are required to have a Google account and a phone that has access to an internet connection.

Contents

In order to activate Free Zone internet, you first have to subscribe to the service by visiting this website or by sending an SMS containing "LIBRE" to 8888 and after that, you will receive a SMS with a link which you have to access in order to subscribe to the Free Zone Service. Each user gets 1 GB of data each month and if the website you're visiting isn't included by the service, the system will send you a pop-up message telling you that if you continue you might have to pay for it.

History

  • November 2012: Google Free Zone was announced by Google on November 8, 2012, with a launch in the Philippines in partnership with Globe Telecom, with the experimental round scheduled to run until March 31, 2013. Telkom Mobile in South Africa, then branded as 8ta, offered Google Free Zone 3 from 13 November 2012 but discontinued the service on 31 May 2013.
  • April 2013: launch in Sri Lanka on the Dialog mobile network.
  • June 2013: Google launched Google Free Zone in India in partnership with mobile Internet provider Airtel, and in Thailand on the AIS network.
  • December 2013: Airtel extended Google Free Zone to its services in Nigeria.
  • March 2014: it was suggested that Safaricom in Kenya had launched Free Zone.
  • Reception and impact

    A number of Internet commentators viewed Google Free Zone as both inspired by and a potential competitor to Facebook Zero.

    The Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones of Chile ruled that Zero-rating services like Wikipedia Zero, Facebook Zero, and Google Free Zone, that subsidize mobile data usage, violate net neutrality laws and had to end the practice by June 1, 2014.

    References

    Google Free Zone Wikipedia


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