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Airtel launches open app marketing platform Airtel Zero

MUMBAI: Telecom major Airtel has announced the launch of Airtel Zero, an open marketing platform that will allow customers to access mobile applications at zero data charges.

Similar to the concept of toll-free voice calling, Airtel Zero aims to allow big marketers and 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.

Bharti Airtel India director consumer business Srini Gopalan said, “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.”

Customers can enjoy free data access to a variety of mobile apps signed up with the platform. The app providers pay for customers’ data charges, thus giving customers toll-free access to their mobile application.

Thus, mobile app makers will need to register with Airtel Zero to give consumers toll-free access to their apps. Airtel will then inform its customers about these applications, who can then download and access them for free even at zero mobile balance.

“The results of our pilot programme 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. Following an extremely successful pilot phase, we are seeing a lot of interest from businesses across the board (including several small start-up 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.