Google launches toll free voice assistant facility in India

With voice becoming a preferred way to search, search engine giant Google has announced a toll-free voice assistant facility in India.

The number, 0008009191000, allows users to make a regular voice call to get information on anything – from sports scores to weather reports.

At present, the feature is available 24 hours but only for Vodafone-Idea users.

Entrackr inquired about the weather condition of Gurugram and schedule of next India-SA cricket match on given number.

Along with voice assistant response, it also shared text messages with the relevant links. We also tried calling at given toll-free number with other telco number but could not get through.

Currently, the Assistant provided with the two language options-Hindi and English on call. 

The company is aiming to partner with other telcos too in the meantime, said Caesar Sengupta, General Manager, Payments and Vice President, Next Billion Users at Google.

The move will help millions of feature phone as well as smartphone users to get information even without an internet connection or data.

Google Assistant, an artificial intelligence (AI) product, came into the market two years back, primarily focusing on mobile and smart home devices.

India currently houses a large number of feature phone users. As per an estimate, only 24% of people have smartphones.

Google has been focusing on mobile and internet users in India for a long time. After the initiative to provide free WiFi across railway stations in the country, Google is now targeting villages to expand its free WiFi program. In a partnership with BSNL, it would provide high-speed public WiFi to villages starting from Gujarat, Bihar and Maharashtra.

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