Telenor teams with Wikipedia for free access

Don Sambandaraksa
14 Mar 2012

Telenor Group and the Wikimedia Foundation have announced a new partnership to offer free mobile access to Wikipedia to Telenor subscribers in Asia and Southeastern Europe, including DTAC customers in Thailand and DiGi in Malaysia.

This initiative is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's mobile strategy, which focuses on reaching the billions of people around the world whose primary opportunity to access the Internet is via a mobile device.

Barry Newstead, Wikimedia Chief Global Development Officer, said “The Wikimedia Foundation is working to remove barriers to free knowledge, and for most people around the world right now, cost and accessibility are the two biggest hurdles. We applaud Telenor for joining us to deliver free access to Wikipedia for their customers. Through this partnership, we move a step closer to providing the sum of all knowledge to everyone in the world.”

Earlier, Telenor launched the I-Genius project, which has already reached out to 300,000 Bangladeshi students and school-children with a call to explore open knowledge on the internet.

The three-year partnership between Telenor Group and the Wikimedia Foundation will cover 135 million users.

The agreement is signed by seven countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Montenegro, and Serbia. By the end of the year, more markets are expected to join.

The agreement will be implemented step by step throughout 2012, with the first markets launching during the second quarter.

Each local Telenor affiliate will establish technical solutions together with the Wikimedia Foundation. Customers with a Telenor SIM will be able to access a version of the encyclopedia for as many times as they like in a given period, at no charge, as long as they stay within Wikipedia’s pages.

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