Bharti Airtel (BSE: 532454) has introduced a new marketing platform, Airtel Zero, to allow the customers download and use any of the apps free of charge, however, data charges will be worn by the developers or the company publishing that application.
The telecom giant, Airtel said, that the concept is just similar to the toll free calling where the receiver pays the calling charges, however, here the big, medium, and small companies along with the part-time developers can publish and promote their applications to the large user base of the Airtel Telecom network.
Company said that it will gather the attention of uninterested users, which are only limited to few of the apps such as Facebook or WhatsApp, and will release the potential of enormously large user base in the network.
“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,” Airtel said in a statement.
Apparently, the company is again breaking the Internet neutrality by dividing the country’s Internet traffic. It can be seen as a clear competition to the Reliance and Facebook venture in context to Internet.org. With Internet.org, Reliance also broke the Internet neutrality by allowing access to the Reliance consumers only. What one can observe it like to use the services under the noble umbrella of the Internet.org, user need to be the part of Reliance network.
Internet neutrality says that no company, government organization or Internet service provider should treat the Internet unequally, without any discrimination in the data usage related to different entities such as apps, websites, content, platform and more.
However, by charging the application developers for the data usage by the customers, Airtel Zero is violating the Internet neutrality by differentiating it from the regular data charges. Probably, the company is trying outgrow its user base in India.
Another report suggests that the Airtel will also give preference to those apps which will pay the proper data charges.