Facebook has partnered with Reliance Communications to bring its Internet.org app to India, in a bid to provide affordable internet to people even in remote areas. Internet.org is also currently available in Tanzania, Colombia, Zambia and Kenya.
The app allows users to surf a variety of popular websites for things like job listings, healthcare, news, sports, and social networking, without incurring any data charges both over 2G and 3G, and will work even on feature phones. The service will only be available for Reliance sim cards as of now, and has been announced in six states so far: Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana. Content will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi as of now.
Users will be able to access 33 partner websites, the full list are as follows.
Gurdeep Singh, CEO Reliance Communications, said at the launch
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.
Reliance customers can access these services in the Internet.org Android app, at www.internet.org, from the start screen of the Opera Mini browser, and using the UC Browser for Internet.org Android app. The service is live now in these states. Users can also call 180030025353 (toll-free) to use the service.
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.