Earlier this year, when Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai came down to India, he made an announcement that the company wants to provide our Indian citizens with free internet. And this would be achieved by providing internet access in key places like the railway stations, across the country.
Today, according to Google, over 2 millions users are taking advantage of this service in the country.
Companies like Google, Facebook and other web service providers are just jumping in into India to take advantage of the next billion users. While it is very clear that they are not here for charity, they are trying to make people use their product first.
Let me make this a little more easier for you to understand. Say, today, Google is offering free internet across the country. That’s good. But for most people in India, who does not understand what real Internet is, they’re going to be thinking that ‘Google’, IS the Internet.
This, ultimately, helps companies like Google, gain marketshare, and in the longer run, this gives them the opportunity to monetize on these billion people they’ve provided the free Internet to.
While Facebook’s mouth was shut and shot for Free Basics, the company is said to be working on a new version of ‘Free Basics’ called, Express Wi-Fi.
India, currently has over 462 million people using Internet everyday. This is a number that opens up a huge opportunity for people to explore.
This is not all. Google is said to have gotten permission for deploying Project Loon balloons in India, to provide Internet to remote places, where there’s a huge struggle for power and water.
At this point, Google seems to be gaining a huge first-comer advantage over the free internet in India. While I’m still not sure why Internet is being portrayed as a necessity to people in India, we need to wait, watch and fight against the ones who’re here to track our data.
Photo by Swami Stream