[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation and Saudi Telecom (STC) partner to provide access to Wikipedia free of mobile data charges in the Middle East
jayen466 at gmail.com
Sun Oct 14 21:12:56 UTC 2012
Will access to Wikipedia for people in Saudi Arabia be uncensored?
Has there been any agreement with Saudi Telecom on censorship?
On Sun, Oct 14, 2012 at 6:32 PM, Jay Walsh <jwalsh at wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Hi folks - sharing a news release that WMF issued this morning along with
> (This press release is also posted on the WMF wiki at
> '''The Wikimedia Foundation and Saudi Telecom (STC) partner to provide
> access to Wikipedia free of mobile data charges in the Middle East'''
> ''Service available immediately to STC customers in Saudi Arabia''
> San Francisco, California and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -- October 14, 2012
> -- Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and the Wikimedia Foundation announced
> a new partnership today to offer Wikipedia free of data charges on
> mobile devices to STC customers in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.
> By making Wikipedia available to its 25 million mobile customers, STC
> and the Wikimedia Foundation commit to increasing access to the free
> and open knowledge available on Wikipedia. Wikipedia Zero enables
> customers to browse the website for free and with high flexibility on
> all mobile phones.
> This partnership is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's mobile
> strategy, which focuses on reaching billions of people around the
> world whose primary opportunity to access the Internet is via a mobile
> device. This initiative is particularly important, given that the
> Foundation has made Arabic language countries a special priority in
> its strategic planning.
> “We are thrilled that STC has joined us in removing a major barrier to
> accessing Wikipedia on mobile phones. Improving access to the
> Wikimedia projects in the Arabic speaking world is a strategic
> priority for the Foundation, and this partnership is a step forward in
> our mission to enable everyone on the planet to access free
> knowledge,” said Kul Takanao Wadhwa, Head of Mobile, Wikimedia
> Foundation. “With Wikipedia Zero, the Wikimedia Foundation is able to
> provide free Wikipedia access to almost 230 million mobile users
> around the world. We’re very excited that STC is joining us in this
> In collaboration with “Intigral”, a company specialized in providing
> digital media solutions to telecom operators, STC subscribers can now
> access the free service in both Arabic and English by pointing their
> mobile browser to m.wikipedia.org. A lightweight, text-only version
> optimized for slower connections is also available at
> zero.wikipedia.org. The move comes as STC continues to consolidate its
> leadership in various fields, especially in social awareness and the
> fostering of a knowledge-sharing culture. Wikipedia Zero will also be
> available through the mobile browser, and features high browsing
> speeds despite being a free service.
> Eng. Ibrahim Al Omar, Vice President for Personal Services, said “One
> of the principles that STC adheres to is the commitment to spreading
> social awareness and the fostering of a knowledge-sharing culture that
> accomplishes the aspirations of all segments of our customer-base.” He
> then added, “Wikipedia Zero is considered an additional cornerstone
> that supports the continuous efforts of STC in the field of social
> The launch of Wikipedia Zero comes in line with STC’s strategy to
> prioritize customer needs, and is an affirmation of the company’s
> commitment to fulfilling customer expectations while meeting their
> demands, and to continuously develop its services to satisfy their
> aspirations and give them a variety of unrestricted options and
> For more information, please refer to the partnership Q&A at:
> '''About Saudi Telecom'''
> Saudi Telecom Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides
> telecommunications services to individuals and businesses primarily in
> the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Its GSM segment primarily offers mobile,
> prepaid cards, international roaming, and messaging services. The
> company’s Landline segment principally provides fixed line, card
> telephones, interconnect, and international call services. Its DATA
> segment primarily offers leased data transmission circuits, DSL, and
> Internet services. The company also engages in the operation of
> communications projects; transmission and processing of information;
> wholesale and retail trade of recharge card services,
> telecommunication equipment and devices, and computer services; sale
> and re-sale of various landlines and mobiles telecommunication
> services; and maintenance and operation of commercial centers. In
> addition, it provides mobile services, international
> telecommunications, broad band, and other related services in Bahrain;
> and operates third generation mobile network in Indonesia. The company
> was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
> '''About Wikimedia Foundation'''
> The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
> Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
> Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
> receive more than 456 million unique visitors per month, making them
> the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, August
> 2012). Available in 285 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 22
> million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of
> roughly 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the
> Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded
> primarily through donations and grants.
> Jay Walsh
> Head of Communications
> +1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw
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