Reliance Communications has announced a partnership with Facebook to offer free data access to select websites to Reliance customers through Internet.org.
Internet.org is a Reliance-developed exclusive platform for Reliance customers for surfing across popular websites without incurring any data charges. The service will be available across both the 2G & 3G platforms.
These services will be available for Reliance customers in telecom circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. The service would be extended to the rest of the country in a phased manner, gradually adding more services and websites.
The launch of these services aims to bring the power of the Internet to a billion Indians.
By bridging the digital divide, it strengthens society by creating a larger, more vibrant community of better- informed, better-connected citizens. Customers can now explore the Internet and its impact on their daily life, without having to worry about data charges. These set of services also come with free Facebook access.
Applauding the launch of the service in India, Gurdeep Singh, CEO, Consumer Business, Reliance Communications, said: "We are delighted to announce the launch of Internet.org services in India. Through this partnership with Facebook, we aim to increase Internet inclusion and encourage more Indians to go online. This partnership will not only accelerate Internet penetration in India, it will also open new socio-economic opportunities to users in fields like education, information and commerce."
Chris Daniels, Vice-President of Internet.org at Facebook, said: "Today, we're excited to make the Internet available to millions of people in India through the launch of Internet.org and free basic services with Reliance. This is a big step forward in our efforts to connect everyone in India to the Internet, and to help people discover new tools and information that can create more jobs and opportunities."
The list of free services includes careers & jobs website TimesJobs and Babajob, education & knowledge website Wikipedia, wikiHow, Dictionary.com, Translator, Reuters Market Lite and Jagran Josh, Health & Social Welfare website Facts for Life (UNICEF), BabyCenter & MAMA, Girl Effect (Nike Foundation), iLearn (UN Women), Malaria No More, Socialblood and AP Speaks, News websites including BBC News, Times of India, India Today, NDTV, BBC News, IBNLive, Aaj Tak, Amarujala.com, Daily Bhaskar, Maalai Malar, Maharashtra Times, Jagran, Newshunt and Manoramanews.com, Search engine Bing (from Microsoft), social website Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Sports website ESPN Cricinfo and Utility websites OLX, Astro, Cleartrip and AccuWeather.
Reliance customers can access these websites with zero data charges at www.internet.org, or in the Internet.org Android app. To begin with, most of the services will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi.