"Akin to the established concept of toll-free voice calling, Airtel Zero will allow everyone from big marketers to small-time application developers to make parts or their entire mobile app free for customers – thus reviving interest of dormant customers, attracting new potential users and increasing retention," Airtel said in a statement.

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The country's largest telecom operator said the platform is a compelling marketing tool for marketers as the application providers pay for customers’ data charges, thus giving customers toll-free access to their mobile application.
"From startups to enterprises, it is an open marketing platform that empowers companies ranging from small businesses 0to large conglomerates with an equal opportunity to reach out to customers in India," it added.

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Mobile application makers need to register with Airtel Zero to give customers toll-free access to their apps and the company will inform the customers. The customers can then download the apps and access them at zero data charges.
"We believe that this platform is consistent with India's digital inclusion agenda and also contributes to government's 'Make in India' vision by providing a platform to millions of small businesses to reach out to the end consumer," Bharti Airtel (India)  Director (Consumer Business) Srini Gopalan said.

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He added that results of its pilot programme indicate that Airtel Zero can deliver the same results as traditional digital marketing channels at one-third of the cost, thus underscoring the immense value it can deliver for developers.