Telenor to offer free Wikipedia in Myanmar

Dylan Bushell-Embling
08 Nov 2013

Norway's Telenor has expanded its agreement with Wikimedia Foundation to offer free access to Wikipedia for customers of its planned Myanmar mobile network.

Under the agreement, Telenor's future Myanmar customers will be able to access Wikipedia without paying mobile data traffic charges.

Telenor and Wikimedia Foundation already have similar deals in place covering Thailand, Malaysia and Montenegro, and plan to launch the Wikipedia Zero unmetered offering in Pakistan, Bangladesh, India and Serbia in 2014.

The extended partnership was jointly announced by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas and Telenor Digital head Roly-Erik Spilling in Oslo yesterday.

Telenor was one of two companies to secure a nationwide telecom license following a hotly-contested Myanmar government tender in June. The company plans to launch HSPA services within eight months of receiving a license, and aims for 83% population coverage for voice services and 78% for data within five years.

The winners were selected in June, but still haven't received their licenses. On this topic, Telenor said it is in discussions with Myanmar authorities regarding the final terms of the license agreement, but has not specified how long it expects the negotiations to take.

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