Alibaba is negotiating with telecoms to bring free internet to India
Alibaba is attempting to crack open the Indian mobile market by making the Internet more accessible to specific regions in India where connectivity is lacking. In an interview with Business Insider India, President of Overseas Business at Alibaba’s mobile division Jack Huang said that they are currently in the process of negotiating with the relevant telecom operators and Wi-Fi providers to give people free Internet services.
“We will definitely look at the opportunity to work together with service providers or even some Wi-Fi providers. We are trying to offer lower cost data to users and better connectivity, even free of cost connectivity. Wi-Fi providers and other players can be potentials and we are in talk,” Huang said.
As of now, Alibaba’s plans are still in the works and nothing concrete has been laid out, but Huang explained that the company recognizes that internet access is distributed unequally across its 29 states and that Alibaba is targetingits services at regions with low connectivity.
Facebook attempted to set up a similar service in India a not long ago with their Free Basics program, but the effort was ultimately scrapped as Indian telecom regulators cried foul at the proposed system. Hopefully, Alibaba won’t make the same mistakes.