Google, which dominates the global search market, now processes more than 100 billion search requests every month.

Johannesburg - An agreement between Google and Telkom's 8ta will allow South Africans to access the internet for free, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

Google Free Zone would allow 8ta sim card holders to have limited, free internet access on their cellphones.

“Effectively (this means) that all South Africans can have access to Google search, Google e-mail and Google social networking by simply using any 8ta sim card on any data-enabled handset no matter how old, free of charge,” 8ta's senior manager Amith Maharaj said.

Country manager at Google SA, Luke Mckend, said: “This gives people easier access to information in a way that benefits everyone, whether its an individual or a small business that wants to reach more people on the web.”

Analysts reportedly said the agreement was unlikely to pose a threat to other cellphone companies due to the limited internet access. - Sapa