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Google, O-Zone tie up to offer free Wi-Fi access

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on Tuesday announced a unique marketing initiative with public provider O-Zone Networks. This program is aimed at encouraging mobile internet usage and getting consumer experiences of Google+ and on their portable devices while away from work and home.

As part of this, all Google+ users will get free and unlimited access to Google+ on the Wi-Fi network at all O-Zone hotspots across the country. More, users will be able to surf YouTube to watch exclusive movie clips and promotions for 10 minutes each week at no cost.

This first-of-its­kind offer will go live this weekend and be available for three months across India at all O-Zone Wi-Fi hotspots.

Though the tie-up is for three months, O-Zone is in talks with Google to make it a long-term contract.

O-Zone has 5,000 WiFi access points across India, of which half are in public locations. "This is a first-of-its kind promotional tie-up. This association between Google India and reinforces the fact that people are now realising the power of Wi-Fi," said Sanjeev (Bobby) Sarin, CEO, O-Zone Networks. The company has seen an increase of 30 per cent month-on-month in usage.

Consumers frequenting outlets such as Café Coffee Day, McDonalds, Café Oz, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Costa Coffee, Subway and OM Bookshop, among others, will be able to make use of the offer.

Though India is treading towards 4G, Sarin believes that with an increase in usage of smartphones, use of Wi-Fi, too, will increase.

"Wi-Fi will grow parallel with 3G and 4G. It has better speed in enclosed networks than 3G. More, as people start using video applications, telcos, too, will prefer to shift traffic to Wi-Fi networks," said Sarin.

O-Zone plans to be India's largest Wi-Fi services provider and have 50,000 hotspots by 2013. The company is funded by Access Industries.

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