Google to Offer Free, Ad-Supported Mobile Internet Access in the Philippines

In an effort to expand its Internet empire to the “next billion”, Google is partnering with Globe Telecom to offer free mobile access to certain Google products such as Google+, Gmail, and Google Search to users in the Philippines.

Of course, those users will have to deal with ads to pay for the freebies, but that’s likely a small price to pay for the ability to not only use those Google products, but also visit websites referred by a Google search (within some very constrained limits) without having to pay for mobile data, as well.

"It's aimed at the next billion users of the Internet, many of whom will be in emerging markets and encounter the Internet first on a mobile phone, without ever owning a PC," said AbdelKarim Mardini, product manager for Google, to Reuters.

Google Free Zone

By giving cell phone users without mobile data plans a gateway to the mobile Internet, Google hopes give users a taste of the wonders afforded by a smartphone. It’s an interesting approach to securing market share in developing areas and lays the groundwork for more potential Android customers in the future--customers that may eventually decide to opt for a full-fledged mobile data plan.