‘Airtel Zero’ launched in India to offer free internet access on select apps and services

‘Airtel Zero’ launched in India to offer free internet access on select apps and services

Bharti Airtel today launched ‘Airtel Zero’ as a new platform for app developers and service providers to offer free internet access on their apps and services in India. The new platform seems to be a strong competitor against Facebook’s Internet.org and somewhere violates the principles of net neutrality as it offers limited free access on select apps and services.

With ‘Airtel Zero’, mobile app makers can now offer free internet access on their apps and services to let their users download and access the content without paying any data charges. This new platform is likely to be fruitful for startups which mainly work on entertainment or shopping avenues.

Airtel claims that its ‘Airtel Zero’ platform can deliver the same results as traditional digital marketing channels at one-third the cost. App developers and service providers need to register under the new platform, and then they can offer their Web-based content to users at zero data charges.

On announcing the launch, Srini Gopalan, Director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel (India), said:

“We are excited to launch ‘Airtel Zero’, which is an open and non-discriminatory marketing platform for all developers in India – irrespective of the size of their business. We believe that this platform is consistent with India’s Digital Inclusion agenda and also contributes to the government’s ‘Make in India’ vision by providing a platform to millions of small businesses to reach out to the end consumer.”

While Airtel is considering ‘Airtel Zero’ as an open-source platform to offer free internet access, it does not provides free internet access for all services. It works on a similar pattern that Facebook chose earlier this year with launching its Internet.org app in India.

Apart from Internet.org, Opera Software recently launched Opera Max App Pass to let users get free internet access to select apps.

Unlike Internet.org and Opera Max App Pass, Airtel’s ‘Airtel Zero’ platform could have more number of apps on its board as it is available openly for all app developers.

“We invite all application developers to register their interest in ‘Airtel Zero’ and see the compelling reach it can deliver to Airtel’s 200 million plus customers across India,” added Gopalan.

Developers who want to register for ‘Airtel Zero’ firstly need to send an email. Thereafter, they will get the details about how much they need to pay to offer free internet access on their apps.

Categories: Internet