Airtel and Google have partnered together to bring forth an innovative service called the Free Zone. Airtel users can now access Google services that include search, Gmail and Google+ for free.
The service is free with a limit cap of 1GB per month. You can access it only via your mobile phone. However you do need a working net connection, though a data plan is not necessary. You see, nothing is free, once you enable the net connection you are by default assigned to the ‘pay as you use’ plan. I am not sure if you can setup the net without a data plan on Airtel, and if the freezone will load without issues.
So let’s assume you have data connection enabled and you are an Airtel subscriber (pre-paid or post paid). To avail the free service all that you need to do is launch the default phone browser and go to the URL (do note this will work only from your mobile phone).
Once the page is loaded, you will see the free zone page (mentioned) with google powered search box along with Gmail and Google+ menu options. The concept is that you need to be using the link Airtel.in/freezone all the time to be able to access these 3 services for free (1GB data limit per month). The free zone is mentioned on the page which is an indication that you are using the free service and you will not be charged for the data used.
Can I access other websites?
Yes you can just use the Google search (via freezone page), you will get the links, tap it and the site will open within the frame (you will still be on the freezone page).
What’s is the catch?
As long as you are on the freezone page data usage is free. I tried searching for gogi, got the link and tapped it to open my site. I could see the content (the main site page). But the moment I tried to open another link via my site I got a message “ if you continue you will need to pay the data charges”.
So the free ride is just up to the first level and not for the subsequent pages you might want to read. But still the free zone is a good option for those who have minimal usage, like reading email, using Google+ and search (limited usage).
If you want to read any particular page on a site you might want to search for the same so the particular page result shows up in Google Search (via freezone) and when you tap it that becomes the first level.
In simple words once the external page is loaded on the free zone, any link that you click on that page will show up a message – you will need to pay to continue (depending on your data plan). The first link / page is free, and then you need to pay. If you want to view images / attachment that too comes user the paid service.
How can you make best use of the Airtel – Google Freezone services?
If you already have subscribed to any unlimited plan this service will not make sense. But if you have a limited plan then this is a good option, you can use the free service as well as paid service as needed.