Through an agreement between Telenor Group and the Wikimedia Foundation signed today, Telenor customers throughout Asia and Southeastern Europe will be able to access Wikipedia.com on their phones for free, i.e. no charges for data traffic at all (as long as there are on Wikipedia.com).
How to Use Wikipedia for Free?
- When implemented (It might take couple of months to get this partnership implemented), customers with a Telenor SIM will be able to access wikipedia.com for free.
- You will be able to visit wikipedia.com as many times as you want
- You will be able to browse wikipedia.com from your phone using any phone browser, or app.
- External links on wikipedia.com will be charged as per usual tariff
- Access to all other web pages (except wikipedia.com) will be charged as per usual tariffs.
When Can you use Wikipedia for Free?
We have asked Telenor Pakistan to give us a definitive date regarding the implementation of this project, for which we are awaiting their reply.
As mentioned above, the agreement was signed today and implementation of this partnership is in process now. Telenor Pakistan told me that a it could take couple of months to work out the technical modalities for making wikipedia.com accessible for free. Ideally, it is expected that all this would be done by April 2012.
A statement issued by Telenor said that this 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.
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.
“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,” says Barry Newstead, Wikimedia Chief Global Development Officer. “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.”
This partnership supports Telenor’s commitment to bring more value to its mobile customers. Especially, the company has pioneered the development of value-adding services to rural and underserved communities in Asia. Telenor involve millions in Asia through the I-Geniusproject, which has already reached out to 300,000 Bangladeshi students and school-children with a call to explore open knowledge on the internet.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with the Wikimedia Foundation. Telenor have pioneered affordable, mobile communications across much of Asia, and we have built a track record of offering vital services with a significant outreach” says Kristin Skogen Lund,Executive Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Telenor Group. “With this agreement, we are first in Asia to bring a vast knowledge source to the millions in underserved communities across the region.”
Each local Telenor affiliate will establish technical solutions together with the Wikimedia Foundation.