Mobile operator Airtel Nigeria has teamed up with search engine Google to supply a free internet search service for its subscribers in the country. The service will be termed FreeZone, and will allow users to access mobile web search and other feature-phone-friendly versions of Gmail and Google+ without it being added to their monthly bill.
“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,” said Deepak Srivastava, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director of Airtel Nigeria.
Juliet Ehimuan, Country Manager of Google Nigeria, added that Google is excited to launch the service. “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,” she said.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor