Since early 2012, the Wikimedia Foundation (the non-profit that supports Wikipedia) has been leading a program called Wikipedia Zero, which works with mobile carriers to waive the data charges for accessing Wikipedia on mobile phones.
The Wikipedia Zero initiative is based on partnerships with mobile phone operators, whereby the operator agrees to deploy a version of Wikipedia in such a way that their users do not need to pay for data access.
Roughly 6 out of every 7 people today have access to a mobile phone. Today, Airtel Nigeria has announced a strategic partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia, to offer their consumers across the country access to Wikipedia through their mobile phones free of data charges.
The initiative, which is first of its kind in Nigeria, is dubbed Wikipedia Zero, and it is aimed at reaching and empowering billions of people around the world whose access to the Internet is primarily through a mobile device. Airtel Nigeria subscribers can access Wikipedia free of data charges at m.wikipedia.org.
With the new partnership, Airtel will help deliver knowledge and information of Wikipedia to 21 million of new users in the West African region.
Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Maurice Newa said;
“We are excited with our partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation and we will continue to provide innovative solutions that will uplift Nigerians in line with our brand promise of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians,” he said. “At Airtel, we are passionate and committed to creating solid educational and youth empowerment platforms that will enrich and transform the lives of telecoms consumers across the country.”
Head of Mobile Partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation Carolynne Schloeder;
“We commend Airtel Nigeria for taking a leadership role in empowering their society through information access, and we’re thrilled to partner with them,”. “Expanding Wikipedia Zero to the people of Nigeria is a big step forward for free knowledge in Africa.”
Where is Wikipedia free to access?
It is not only airtel subscribers in Nigeria that will have access to wikipedia platform at zero data charges but other countries too.
As i stated earlier “Wikipedia Zero started early 2012 and has already signed partnership with mobile partners in various countries”.
Below is a complete list of countries that support wikipedia Zero initiative. if you find yourself in any of the below countries, kindly feel free to explore wikipedia 🙂
Note on version: Partners are either giving free access to m.wikipedia.org (mobile version), zero.wikipedia.org (mobile text-only version), or both. In the future, most partnerships will be offering both.
Imagine a world in which every single human being on the planet has equal access to the sum of all knowledge.
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