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In an effort to widen Internet connectivity in developing countries, Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) announced a new service called Free Zone.
According to plans, phones that have the ability to connect to the Internet could use Google for free. This includes Google’s various products — search, email and social network Google+. The search giant hopes to persuade users to move beyond making phone calls and sending SMS messages.
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People will be able to access sites that show up on Google’s search results. But they will not be able to visit those sites exclusively on the browser without paying for data. The added benefit for Google: it rakes in most of its profits through advertisements that appear on its search results.
The California-based company will first be launching this plan in the Philippines. It will then expand into other countries.
Even though the South Asian population is purchasing smartphones rapidly, there are still millions who own feature phones that do not have Internet accessibility.
This highlights the role of developing countries to technology companies. The need to leverage the growing economies of China and India continues to be relevant.
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