One of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s newest services, Free Zone, is aimed at users in developing countries who otherwise can’t access the search giant’s services without being charged by their mobile phone carrier for using data. The service launches first in the Philippines. Users can now use mobile devices to use Google+, Gmail, and Google Search without having to pay charges for using data.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) product manager Abdel Karim Mardini shared details on the new service today with Reuters. He said they want to start serving the next billion Internet users who are in emerging markets and whose first use of the Web is on their mobile devices, rather than on a computer. If the launch of Free Zone is successful in the Philippines, then it will likely be expanded to emerging markets in other parts of the world.
According to Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) officials, there is one important thing users must understand. They can receive and send emails through Gmail and see their friends’ feeds on Google+ without incurring data charges, and they can also use Google’s search engine to find information. However, they will begin incurring data charges after they leave Google’s site to visit the sites they found in their Google search.
Almost any mobile phone that has the Internet enabled on it in the Philippines is able to use Free Zone. Google officials say although it’s designed for best use on feature phones, it will also work on smartphones.
The unveiling of Free Zone shows just how important emerging markets are, especially for tech companies. Many countries all over the world are beginning to build up their technological infrastructure, which makes it possible for Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and other tech companies like Microsoft, Apple, and others to capitalize on new markets.