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

Kul Wadhwa kwadhwa at wikimedia.org
Mon Oct 15 23:13:45 UTC 2012

Hi Sarah,

On Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM, 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?

This is not a stupid question...actually my wife asked me the same thing :)

To implement a zero-rated version of Wikipedia we engage and work directly
with an operator on multiple levels. Besides spending time with their
business/marketing and/or corporate social responsibility staff to take on
this program (because it does cost them time and resources) we work with on
the technical side to adapt, customize and debug a light-weight version of
Wikipedia (i.e., Wikipedia Zero) that their customers can access on their
network. Sometimes this includes, but is not limited to, creating a
country-specific landing page, developing banners so customers know they
are not paying when they are using it, and some feature development. We
also need to make sure that it works within their billing systems so
customers don't get charged for using it. Operators have varying technical
infrastructures (some completely different from others) so we have to make
adjustments for each one. Then we spend a lot time testing with them to
make sure it's running properly.

You can find more information here:



Kul Wadhwa
Head of Mobile
Wikimedia Foundation

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