Google, Airtel tie-up to provide free mobile Internet in India

The service called Free Zone will allow Airtel customers to freely access Google Search, Gmail, and Google+ services.

Bharti Airtel mobile customers in India can freely access Google online products, including the first page of a Web site linked from search results.

The parties announced the trial in a press release yesterday, which said it is part of their tie up to offer Google's Free Zone portal. The list of accessible services include Gmail and Google+. Customers will be prompted to purchase a data pack if they click a second link on a Web site, where they arrived via a Google Search, or need to download attachments from Gmail.
Rajan Anandan, vice president and managing director of Google India, said the trial services would broaden the reach of Internet services in India , to anyone with a phone.
"This gives people easier access to information in a way that benefits everyone, whether it's an individual or a small business that wants to reach more people on the Web. We hope this initiative will encourage more Indians to experience the value of the Internet and gain from it," Anandan said.
Google introduced the Free Zone service in the Philippines last November, through a partnership with local telco Globe Telecom.