Jana offers free internet through mCent Browser
Jana, the Boston-based mobile advertising company and the largest provider of free data in emerging markets, on Thursday launched its mCent Browser, which will enable android smartphone users in India to have free access to online content. Driven by mCent Browser’s ad-sponsored model, the company will initially offer customers up to 10 MB data per day or 70 MB free data per week.
As more advertisers are added to the platform, the data limit will increase gradually to ultimately achieve its target of providing unlimited access to the internet to about one billion mobile users in India. “Our mission is to make the internet free for the next billion. We aim to provide unrestricted access to the entire internet, with a quality user experience,” Nathan Eagle, CEO and Co-Founder of Jana said. “Through mCent Browser, users can now pick up their phone every day and browse the internet without worrying about high data costs,” he added.
Jana has chosen to launch mCent Browser in India first, since it is the world’s second largest smartphone market. According to GSMA, India will be home to almost one billion unique mobile subscribers and the affordability and adoption of Android devices continues to increase in emerging markets, even though data costs remain high.
“We have launched this new offering first in India and we will look at launching the service in a few other countries including Brazil, Malaysia and South Africa after an year,” Nathan Eagle told FC. The company had earlier offered free data access in emerging markets through its app store – mCent app. Indian users of its mCent app got mobile data as a reward for downloading and trying various applications, while App companies and advertisers paid for the data.
“The idea was to enable users in India to try out different apps and get free internet in the bargain. But, with apps, people had limited options. Our idea is to target the $200 billion annual spend on advertising in the emerging markets and very little of that was getting on to digital and mobile,” he said. “It is important to emphasise here that in the initial phase we are offering up to 10MB data access free every day and it is un-restricted in terms of whatever the users want to access on the internet. With more users as well as advertisers on board, we are sure to increase it gradually to ultimately offer free internet access to all,” he added.
D Govardan