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Google Free Zone

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Google Free Zone was an initiative created by Google that would allow Google members in certain parts of the world to access Gmail and other Google services for free. Zero rating is the practice of not charging customers for data use on specific websites and services that are owned by either an internet service providers (ISPs) or its partners. In 2012, Google tested Free Zone in the Philippines with local carrier, Globe Telecom.

The Free Zone initiative was designed to attract a large and untapped group of customers who previously unable to access or afford mobile data. Users only require an internet-capable phone with a SIM card, a Google account and the ability to send SMS text messages. When using Free Zone, the first pages of any site found though a Google search were free. For those pages outside the Free Zone and the first page linked from search results, the service included 1GB of external browsing data allowance.

Bryan Nelson, business development manager for Google SA, demonstrated the Google Free Zone service in this video:

This was last updated in April 2017

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