As expected, Reliance Communication today announced their partnership with Facebook’s Internet.org initiative.
The internet.org app will offer access to over 38 services (websites) completely free of cost. Reliance Communication customers in six Indian states (Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana) can access to more than three dozen services ranging from news, maternal health, travel, local jobs, sports, communication, and local government information.
Here are the services offered by Internet.org
- Aaj Tak: Read news in Hindi
- AccuWeather: Get updated weather information
- amarujala.com: Read news in Hindi
- AP Speaks: Engage with local government
- Babajob: Search for jobs
- BabyCenter & MAMA: Learn about pregnancy and childcare
- BBC News: Read news from around the world
- Bing Search: Find information
- Cleartrip: Check train and flight schedules & buy tickets
- Daily Bhaskar: Read local news
- Dictionary.com: Search for meanings of words
- ESPN Cricinfo: Get cricket updates
- Facebook: Communicate with friends and family
- Facts for Life: Find health and hygiene information
- Girl Effect: Read articles and tips for girls
- HungamaPlay: Listen to music
- IBNLive: Read news
- iLearn: Learn from Women Entrepreneurs
- India Today: Read local news
- Internet Basics: Learn about the basics of the Internet
- Jagran: Read local news
- Jagran Josh: Get education and career information
- Maalai Malar: Read news in Tamil
- Maharashtra Times: Read news in Marathi
- Malaria No More: Learn about malaria
- manoramanews.com: Read local news
- Messenger: Send messages to friends and family
- NDTV: Read news
- Newshunt: Read news in English
- OLX: Buy and sell products and services
- Reliance Astrology: Read your horoscope
- Reuters Market Lite: Get farming and crop information
- Socialblood: Register to donate blood
- Times of India: Read news
- TimesJobs: Search for jobs
- Translator: Translate words and phrases
- Wikipedia: Find information
- wikiHow: Find information
How to Access?
Visit Internet.org website from your Android phone using Opera Mini mobile web browser. You will need to use Android app UC browser for internet.org. Most of the services will be available in English, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Gujarati and Marathi.
We received an invitation from Reliance Communication to attend an event tomorrow and it very boldly said
“One Launch that will make a billion dreams take off!”
The press conference which is held tomorrow (10 February 2015) from 12 noon onwards, at Hotel Taj Vivanta, Mumbai, is to be jointly hosted by Reliance Communications and Facebook. Also, the Senior Global Leadership Teams from RCOM and Facebook will be personally present at the event venue to share details of the announcement. Here is the invitation.
When we got the invitation to attend the event, we were quite sure it had something to do with Internet.org launch. However, it was confirmed when folks over at medianama.com “internet.org” website on their mobile. The message on internet.org said, You must be on “Reliance network to use internet.org. If you’d like to access these websites for free, use SIM card from Reliance”
We tried accessing internet.org on our idea network, however, we did not get any such message and currently the url is redirected to their normal website.
We tried getting in touch with Reliance to get confirmation, however, they were not forthcoming with any information.
Why RCOM + Internet.org may be a Hit!
While Facebook and Reliance Communication are both going to derive huge benefit out of this, the users also stand to benefit a lot from this.
For RCom: In our view Reliance Communication will obviously garner hordes of new subscribers with this initiative. If they offer free internet access for Facebook and few other prominent websites, people will not mind switching from their existing providers to Reliance.
For Facebook: Internet.org is a Facebook initiative and for users accessing internet through this initiative, Facebook will become their gateway to internet. Facebook’s next growth phase is going to come from countries like India, where there are still hundreds of millions of people yet to get taste of internet. For them, through this initiative, Facebook will be the defacto platform they will access!
For users: Obviously the users stand to benefit because they will get Facebook access along with some prominent other websites for free!
We will update this post with details from the event tomorrow!