Airtel launches ‘Airtel Zero’ – a platform that allows access to mobile applications at zero data charges

Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of ‘Airtel Zero’ – an open marketing platform that will allow customers to access mobile applications at zero data charges.  Akin to the established concept of toll-free voice calling, ‘Airtel Zero’ will allow everyone from big marketers to small-time application developers to make parts or their entire mobile app free for customers – thus reviving interest of dormant customers, attracting new potential users and increasing retention. The platform will be a big win for customers as it will allow them to access their favorite mobile applications at no data charges, and also encourage them to try out new applications.

How will ‘Airtel Zero’ work?

1. Mobile app makers register with ‘Airtel Zero’ to give customers toll-free access to their apps

2. Airtel informs customers about these toll-free apps

3. Customers download and access these apps at zero data charges – and enjoy their favorite online tasks (e.g. entertainment, shopping) for free – even at zero mobile balance

“We are excited to launch ‘Airtel Zero’, which is an open and non-discriminatory marketing platform for all developers in India – irrespective of the size of their business. We believe that this platform is consistent with India’s Digital Inclusion agenda and also contributes to the government’s ‘Make in India’ vision by providing a platform to millions of small businesses to reach out to the end consumer.”, said Srini Gopalan, Director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel (India).

Specifically, ‘Airtel Zero’ can work as a highly efficient marketing mechanism for small developers or startup shops that face budget constraints towards driving promotions and app downloads.

“The results of our pilot program indicate that ‘Airtel Zero’ can deliver the same results as traditional digital marketing channels at 1/3rd the cost – thus underscoring the immense value it can deliver for developers across. Following an extremely successful pilot phase, we are seeing a lot of interest from businesses across the board (including several small startup firms), and expect a large number of applications to sign on. We invite all application developers to register their interest in ‘Airtel Zero’ and see the compelling reach it can deliver to Airtel’s 200 million plus customers across India” added Gopalan.