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Google Free Zone comes to the Philippines: access Google+, Gmail and Google Search without charge

Jamie Rigg, @jmerigg
November 8, 2012
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Luckily for some, Google has thing for dishing out free internet, which is probably why it's teamed up with Filipino carrier Globe to test out complimentary access to its services. Available now, Free Zone allows any internet-enabled phone to access Gmail, Google+ or Google Search without even having a data plan. Intended mainly for feature phones, you can even load up pages from those search results without paying a dime -- or should we say, peso. There's no usage cap, but clicking through to subsequent pages, accessing Gmail attachments, or opening links from within Google+ will incur charges, but you'll be prompted to accept them or sign up for a plan before that happens. The Philippines is the first market to try out Free Zone, but the wider scheme is "aimed at the next billion users of the internet, many of whom will be in emerging markets." Yeah, the catch is that you'll be exposed to some advertising while you're using it -- but there's no such thing as a free search, right?

Update: Actually, there is such a thing as a free search. Google has been in touch to let us know that "Free Zone doesn't serve any ads." Bonus!

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