Google is currently experimenting with a pretty ground breaking service ‘Free-Zone’ which is targeted at emerging markets (Philippines at the moment) via users internet enabled phones. The service allows users to search Google and click on websites without a data plan with their providers, meaning free internet for all! There is a catch however, only items within Googles searches are free, meaning if you clicked on something which appeared within the search results there will be no charge however if you then click on a link within that site there is a charge.
What this basically means is free internet in these markets, through users phones. When you consider that most of these markets will not have ever used a PC to access the internet and will only be looking at the internet for the first time through their smart phones it’s a pretty clever move by Google. Another feature is use Googles other services namely Gmail and Google+, which may mean that in these markets Google+ will be the standard social network, which when you consider these are emerging markets could really hinder Facebooks growth in these territories.
News agency Reuters quoted Google’s Abdel Karim Mardin as saying the service is “aimed at the next billion users of the Internet, many of whom will be in emerging markets and encounter the Internet first on a mobile phone, without ever owning a PC.”