[Wikimedia-l] Wikimedia Foundation and Saudi Telecom (STC) partner to provide access to Wikipedia free of mobile data charges in the Middle East

Theo10011 de10011 at gmail.com
Mon Oct 15 19:33:28 UTC 2012

On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 12:33 AM, Sarah <slimvirgin at gmail.com> wrote:

> Apologies if this is a stupid question, but I don't understand the
> need for a partnership between the Wikipedia Foundation and the Saudi
> Telecom Company (STC).
> If STC wants not to charge its customers for accessing Wikipedia, in
> what way does it need the help of the Foundation to achieve that?

Hi Sarah

The partnership is part of a larger initiative[1] - the page provides a
list of countries and carriers where this partnership exists, it includes,
Orange, in  Kenya, Niger, Uganda, Ivory Coast, Telenor in Monte Negro, dtac
in Thailand and now STC is KSA.

The partnership with the telecom companies provides free access through
either Wikipedia Zero or mobile Wikipedia in different languages to
millions of users who might not have access to these services. The listed
page mentions that the partnership does not involve any financial deal to
provide this access. I'm not aware of the particulars but the partnership
might have just focused on providing some technical help and a point
of interaction to facilitate the deal. It's a good
deal considering millions of people get free access, who would have had
limited access and use of Wikipedia before.

It was part of the focus for the Global Development department and WMF, to
provide better access in these countries in the developing world, under the
previously-used and inappropriate title of "Global South".



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