UCWeb to offer Free Internet in India, similar to Facebook’s Free Basics Initiative
Facebook initially launched the internet.org and then its Free Basic initiatives in India, but it didn’t clear the country’s regulations. Now Alibaba’s UCWeb is planning to provide free internet across the country and this internet software and service provider is negotiating with telecom operators and Wi-Fi providers in India. At present, India does not allow anyone to connect content with usage and telecom regulator is in the process of defining Net Neutrality.
Reliance Jio is currently providing its free data services in India under the Happy new year plan which will end in the month of March. Coming back to Facebook’s plan, there were only a few sites that the users could access for free, and hence it could not be applicable in India which also provoked the debate on Net Neutrality. It is not sure what kind of service Alibaba is going to provide, but as per the reports, it is looking to provide approach potential partners.
Huang said they think in a geographic way because not every state is suffering from connectivity problem in India and so we will focus more on providing this kind of services to states that are suffering more and also we will have comprehensive analysis on already existing consumers who will need this kind of service. Alibaba is looking to connecting its free content, but it will be facing issues with the local telecom operators.
With UC Web, Alibaba Group recently announced an investment of the sum of two Billion rupees in India and Indonesia in the coming two years. It is also planning to hire more than thirty thousand bloggers and content developers and recently launched a compensation plan contributors and writers. This e-commerce giant from China also said that it is looking for an opportunity to work together with service providers on Wi-Fi providers and offer lower cost data to the users along with better connectivity.