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Globe First in the World to Launch Charge-free Access to the Web and Google on Mobile

Free Zone Powered by Google Allows No Data Charges for Billions of Web sites, Gmail, Search and Google+

MANILA, Philippines, Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Globe Telecom marks another milestone as the world's first telecom operator to offer access to the World Wide Web and select Google services on internet-enabled mobile phones without any data charges.

Globe launched Free Zone powered by Google for Globe Prepaid and TM subscribers, giving them easy and instant access to Google Search, Gmail, and Google+ on feature phones and smartphones at no cost via libre.ph. All a subscriber needs is an internet-capable handset to search the web, send and receive e-mails, and share experiences anytime, anywhere, minus the mobile browsing charges.

Free Zone is perfect for first-time mobile internet users who often find basic services like e-mail, mobile web browsing and social applications to be very expensive, thus limiting their subscription to mobile surfing plans and bundles. Using Free Zone, users with basic internet-enabled devices can use the power of the web to grow their businesses or keep in touch with friends and family without the fear of unknown data costs and make more informed choices about their next data device.

With the new mobile internet promo, Globe extends the unique experience of being online all the time even to its most budget-conscious subscribers. The offer is initially available to more than 30 million Globe Prepaid and TM subscribers nationwide until March 31, 2013. 

"Our products and services are all about empowering our subscribers, and Free Zone testifies to this promise yet again. Free Zone powered by Google empowers subscribers by letting them be in the know and keeping them updated right at their fingertips. The best part is, subscribers don't need to worry about getting charged, so they can enjoy visiting sites through Google and other Google services worry-free," said Peter Bithos, Senior Advisor for Consumer Business of Globe.

Added Bithos, "From searching about the latest buzz around the world, to convenient and easy access to e-mail, to sharing experiences via Google+, Free Zone gives all-you-want access to the World Wide Web when you want it, when you need it, without having to worry about excessive data charges or fear billshock. With this great innovation by Globe and Google, we uphold our promise of providing Internet for all as we bring mobile surfing easier, more accessible, and more relevant to today's fast-paced life. It's by far the best mobile internet experience out there, with the availability of an offer where e-mail, search and social networking are all rolled into one at no cost."

"We wanted to make search available to as many people as possible. But a free search result isn't much good if you can't then go to the Web site," said Andrew McGlinchey, Head of Products for Southeast Asia at Google. "So we decided to make all those Web sites available as part of the package as well. We're hoping Free Zone will make the mobile Internet feel like a necessity that everyone can use rather than a luxury."

With Free Zone, users get unlimited access to:

  • SEARCH: Users can search the Web and access the first page of websites from the results without getting charged. If they click further, users are directed to a page where they can subscribe to a data plan to continue. But for as long as they stay within the Free Zone, charging will not take place.
  • EMAIL: Even without a data plan, users can still send and receive text emails while on the go via Gmail. Uploading and downloading attachments carry corresponding data charges.
  • SHARING: Google+ lets users share the right things with the right people at the right time. Check out family photos and share within an intimate circle just as easily as you can follow the latest Lady Gaga updates.

The versions of Google Search, Gmail and Google+ on Free Zone are designed to work well with feature phones that lack the technological firepower of a smartphone. Google built the software and Globe became the first operator in the world to make it work on its network, making the Philippines the first place in the world to use this new product.

"The free click brings us right back to Google's roots and I'm Feeling Lucky," said McGlinchey. "There's a Web page out there for almost every question and we're still trying to get you there in one click, or less."

To access Google services on your mobile phone free of data charges, simply text LIBRE to 8888 for free or visit http://libre.ph on the phone's default browser. Those without Google accounts can sign up for free and create one by following the "Create an account now" link on their mobile phones. For more information about Free Zone, visit http://surf.globe.com.ph/plan/freezone.  

Press room: www.globe.com.ph/press-room

CONTACT:
Yoly Crisanto
Head, Corporate Communications
Globe Telecom
Tel. No.  (63) 730 2627
Fax no. (63) 739 3075
Email: globe.corpcomm@gmail.com

SOURCE Globe Telecom

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