With Facebook Departure Google To Reign Over India
Google Loon to take over India after Free Basics departure.
Facebook Inc. had big plans for the Indian market with the launch of the Free Basics program. The company ventured into the region with an aim to offer free Internet access to the masses. However, the company had to deal with immense criticism and finally it has left the country now. Alphabet Inc., the parent company of Google now has the opportunity to capture the personal data market by intriguing all those Indians who do not have Internet access.
It has now been reported that the search engine giant is collaborating with two network carriers in India to support its pilot Google Loon project in the region.
The solar powered balloons which are all seeing can float almost 20km above the surface of the Earth particularly in the stratosphere. These balloons pave way for a LTE connection that allows data and behavioral information to travel to the biggest ad tycoon across the globe.
Back in February, TRAI, an Indian telecomm regulator faced immense pressure from various Internet activists which eventually resulted in a ban on the Free Basics program in India by Facebook. The idea behind this service was to offer free data service to almost one million Indians living below the poverty line. This was done to support net neutrality since the company was going against it. This was not a big deal since millions of Indians had signed up for the service a year back. However, Mr. Mark Zuckerberg now seems to be wary of the region and has stated during the Mobile World Congress that the company will not pave its way back in the region anymore.
It seemed that the protest in support for net neutrality was quite spontaneous. However, it will be harsh to judge the book by its cover. The initiative had other catalysts too since it is now being said that the campaign was being run by Access Now, a pressure group that is funded by GOOG. The policy director for Access Now, Mr. Raman Jit Singh Chama joined the company just two months after it departed from Google. Chama rendered his services for almost four years and his last designation was the chief lobbyist to the government.
The individual has experience in advertising instead of a “Ceefax like” experience of the Free Basics plans that discouraged ads. Other than that, the devices by clients are managed by Google and thus the data cannot be kept secret from the company.
While it is a great win by Google since they have been successful in sabotaging Facebook. However, it has not turned out to be that smooth for Google One. The reference platform for the company’s OS has failed to garner the interest of OEMs.
Other than that in Asia, it is said that the company has vouched to “teach 100,000 university students about digital marketing through online and self learning educational courses.”