Opera Software has introduced App Max, a new feature to its Opera Max mobile data compression tool that allows mobile carriers to offer subscribers free access to select Android apps. The feature is aimed at emerging markets where operators can foster mobile data usage among subscribers which was previously hindered by data charges. Also Read - Happy Father's Day 2021: Google Doodle wishes dads with cute pop-up greeting cardAlso Read - Google might be working on a 'Find My' network clone for Android users
Opera s App Pass is very similar to Facebook s Internet.org initiative and Google s reported zero-rating plans. In the case of Opera, users can use App Passes to connect and try different apps at no data charges. All at a distance of two clicks. Also Read - PUBG New State receives over 17 million pre-registrations as closed alpha testing ends
Earlier this month Facebook partnered with RCom to offer free access to around three dozens websites to those who are on Reliance network. These services include news portals, health websites, sports, educational apps, and entertainment.
Google too is reportedly working with carriers and developers to lower or eliminate the data usage and data charges in emerging markets like India. The company is reportedly acting as a middleman between mobile operators and app developers. Also known in the industry as zero-rating, either Google or the app developer will pay for the data consumed by the user.
All these three models have one thing in common: They are violating Net Neutrality. While this may all seem — and it evidently is — profitable to consumers, as they are getting access to several services for free, have to pay little to no price for consumption of a service, and it extends the reach of these services to more people, not everything is merry for everyone.
These models modify the level playing field by preferring one service, app, website over others by creating an artificial paywall.
For an example, Facebook s Internet.org is promoting a handful of media outlets. This opportunity gives these media outlets an unfair advantage to gain wider readership. It is something rest of the media outlets miss out on.