Reliance Communications has tied up with Facebook to offer free mobile browsing on 0.facebook.com, a light-weight mobile version of the popular social networking website. The 0.facebook.com link appears to have been created especially for access via certain carrier partners. The service, strangely enough, is being offered only to Reliance’s GSM customers.
0.facebook.com is a stripped down version of Facebook’s mobile site: no photos or graphics are displayed, which means that the data consumption would fairly limited, and the cost of giving a consumer free access to it would be even lower for a telecom operator, than giving free access to m.facebook.com. Photos posted on Facebook are linked to on the 0.facebook.com page, and in case a user accesses those, standard data charges will apply. At present, free access to 0.facebook.com is only for one year, though RCOM can extend it.
MediaNama readers may have remembered that we had questioned the neutrality of wireless Internet access in India: Why is RCOM choosing to incentivise usage of Facebook over mobile Internet websites? Why not Orkut, iTimes, BigAdda or any other social network? In the past, MTS has offered free access to Yahoo India, Wikipedia, Makemytrip, shopping.indiatimes.com and Cricinfo.com, and Tata Docomo offered free access to Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, LinkedIn and Nimbuzz to its BuddyNet users.
Note: RCOM’s website has not been updated with details of this service. We’ll update in case there’s anything worth noting in the terms and conditions.