In a move that sounds like a page taken straight out of T-Mobile’s handbook, Google is now reportedly exploring options that could make mobile data free for some apps on Android One devices. According to sources from The Information, Google has been engaging in talks with both carriers and 3rd party developers in emerging markets like India to give specific applications a “zero rating.” This means data used by the application wouldn’t count against a user’s data allotment, something that could especially come in handy in markets like India where mobile data can be costly, hindering users from using all the many Android apps and services at their disposal.
Google’s Android One initiative targets emerging markets with affordable Android handsets that are always up-to-date thanks to software updates straight from Google. While that may sound like a small incentive to some, the prospect of being able to use apps like WhatsApp or Facebook without any restrictions could be push Google needs to make some headway in those markets.
The report goes onto to mention that while Google may have plans to expand zero ratings outside of these initial launch areas, don’t expect it to arrive in the US or Europe anytime soon. Call us crazy, but this probably wouldn’t sit too well with Net Neutrality advocates here in the states. Still, it’s a nice thought.