With Airtel, Google’s now data-free
If you’re an Airtel subscriber, you can now use all Google products free-of-charge, at Free Zone. It’s restricted to 1 GB per month, but who’s complaining, right?
Airtel has partnered with Google for Free Zone, a service which gives access to Google Search, Gmail and Google+, but not YouTube, to all subscribers at no charge at all. You don’t even need a data plan. There is a cap on this free usage, but it’s large enough, at 1GB per month. Roughly, 1GB would let you see one million plain text e-mails or see 10,000 basic web pages, so this would mean significantly lower your bills. All you need to do is login via airtel.in/freezone. We’ve used it already and it worked very well. There are a few restrictions, but it’s still totally worth it, for those with or without a data plan. Particularly if you’re outside your home state and find roaming plans expensive, this is perfect.
What can you do?
With Gmail: You have unlimited access to your mail. When it refreshes or while you’re reading a mail, you pay no data charge. You could even turn off your data plan to check. However, to see an attachment within the email, you will be directed to a page where you can purchase a data package if you don’t have one, or you’ll be charged for usage if you do.
Google+: If you are active on Google+, great! You can share photos online, messages with your family and family, and see their updates at absolutely no charge. It’s all free here.
Google Search: This is a tricky one. You can search for free. You can also click the first link without being charged. On clicking a link within this page, however, you will either be charged or shown a page where you can buy a data package.
Rajan Anandan, VP and Managing Director, Google India, said here, ‘We hope this initiative will encourage more Indians to experience the value of the Internet and gain from it. 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.’
The offer is only available via an internet-enabled phone, so it’s not available on your tablet or laptop. For now, it’s free, but Airtel says it will inform you if the service becomes chargeable well in advance. No doubt the plan is to get people used to the idea of surfing the web on their smartphones, but enjoy it while it lasts. If you need some more information, go here.