Airtel Nigeria and Google have collaborated to provide a unique internet service called ‘Free Zone’. The service gives customers the ability to browse mobile web search and other phone compatible apps such as Gmail and Google+ without charge. Also the first page of any website opened from the search results will not be billed.
To enjoy the service, subscribers should text “Free Zone” to 881 or visit http://g.co/freezone from their phone browser. Google Nigeria Country Manager Juliet Ehimuan said: “We are excited to be working with Airtel to introduce Free Zone powered by Google to Nigeria. We believe in the power of the Internet to create better opportunities, and working with Airtel on this makes it possible for anyone with a phone to get Internet services at little or no cost. Just like our other access projects, this gives people easier access to information in a way that benefits not just themselves, but their businesses, and by extension Nigeria’s economy.”
Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Airtel Nigeria Deepak Srivastava said: “Breaking down the barriers to Internet adoption is critical for Nigeria to keep up with the rest of world in terms of social and economic development. It is through key initiatives like these that these barriers can be reduced. We are, therefore, really proud to bring this spectacular innovation to Nigerians especially our customers who will now have seamless access to Google Search, Gmail and Google+ by simply using Airtel SIM card on any data enabled handset free of charge. This is indeed another good reason to remain an Airtel customer or to joint Airtel if you are not yet a customer.”
Airtel subscribers who subscribe for the service will enjoy unlimited access to Gmail and Google+. Whenever the Airtel customer leaves the Free Zone to browse deeper into a website or download, they are alerted about the charges attached and given payment options for various data packages.
Free Zone is available to all new and existing Airtel mobile phone customers and customers who don’t have a Google Account can sign up for free.