Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation to offer Wikipedia in Africa and the Middle East at no extra cost

PARIS, FRANCE: In the first partnership of its kind, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation will provide more than 70 million Orange customers in Africa and the Middle East (AMEA) with mobile access to Wikipedia - without incurring data usage charges.

Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation today announced a major partnership designed to make knowledge more easily available to Orange mobile customers throughout Africa and the Middle East. In the first partnership of its kind for Wikipedia, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation will provide customers in both remote and urban areas of AMEA with access to Wikipedia.

In 2009, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation formed the world’s first mobile and Internet partnership to expand the reach of Wikimedia’s projects through channels on Orange mobile and web portals in Europe.

This new partnership will be gradually launched throughout 2012 across 20 African and Middle Eastern countries where Orange operates, with the first markets launching early in the year. The initiative is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's mobile strategy that aims to reach the billions of people around the world who access the Internet solely through mobile devices.

Any customer with an Orange SIM and mobile internet enabled phone will be able to access the Wikipedia site either through their browser or an Orange widget. They can access the Wikipedia encyclopaedia services for as many times as they like at no extra charge as long as they stay within Wikipedia’s pages.

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