Google Free Zone

Summary

Google Free Zone was 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+.[1] In order to use this service, users were required to have a Google account and a phone that had access to an internet connection.[2]

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.[3][4][5] 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.[6]
  • April 2013: launch in Sri Lanka on the Dialog mobile network.[7]
  • June 2013: Google launched Google Free Zone in India in partnership with mobile Internet provider Airtel,[8][9][10][11] and in Thailand on the AIS network.
  • December 2013: Airtel extended Google Free Zone to its services in Nigeria.[12]
  • March 2014: Safaricom in Kenya had launched 60 day promotional Free Zone.[13][14]

Reception and impact

A number of Internet commentators viewed Google Free Zone as both inspired by and a potential competitor to Facebook Zero.[15][16][17][18]

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 that the practice had to end by June 1, 2014.[19][20]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Free Zone powered by Google". Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  2. ^ "GOOGLE FREE ZONE FAQs - globe.com.ph". wap.globe.com.ph. Archived from the original on 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-01.
  3. ^ "Google and Globe Launched Free Zone in the Philippines". Filsupport. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  4. ^ Lloyd, Craig (November 8, 2012). "Google launches Free Zone, aims to bring Google services to feature phones". SlashGear. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Wagstaff, Jeremy (November 8, 2012). "Free Zone, Google For The Developing World, Launched For 'Next Billion Users' Of Internet". Huffington Post. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  6. ^ "Free Zone powered by Google is no more". mybroadband. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Dialog and Google team up to launch Free Zone". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  8. ^ "With Airtel and Google's Free Zone, access Web pages free". ciol.com. June 26, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  9. ^ Rana, Gogi (June 27, 2013). "How to use Airtel Free Zone and access Google services for free". Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  10. ^ Matuloko, Muyiwa (December 20, 2013). "Google Offers Airtel Customers Free Internet". Tech Cabal. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  11. ^ "airtel free zone". AirTel. June 26, 2013. Archived from the original on January 16, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  12. ^ "airtel Free Zone". December 17, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  13. ^ "Safaricom offers free Google". Biztech Africa. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  14. ^ "Staying ahead of the curve" (PDF).
  15. ^ "Google Free Zone". Google Operating System blog (not affiliated with Google). October 25, 2012. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  16. ^ Knowles, Jamillah (November 8, 2012). "The Philippines gets Facebook Zero-style free mobile access to Google services via Globe Telecom". Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  17. ^ "Google Free Zone: Google's Challenge to Facebook Zero". Jana Mobile Inc. December 3, 2012. Archived from the original on January 25, 2014. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  18. ^ Deibert, April (February 19, 2013). "Google 'Free Zone' and Facebook 'Zero': Products Targeting Developing Populations". Innovation Series. Retrieved January 15, 2014.
  19. ^ Mirani, Leo (May 30, 2014). "Less than zero – When net neutrality backfires: Chile just killed free access to Wikipedia and Facebook". Quartz. Retrieved July 2, 2014.
  20. ^ McKenzie, Jessica (June 2, 2014). "Face Off in Chile: Net Neutrality v. Human Right to Facebook & Wikipedia". Retrieved July 2, 2014.