Mobile phone users in Africa, Middle East to have free access to Wikipedia

Mobile phone users in Africa and in the Middle East will this 2012 have free, unlimited access to the online encyclopaedia Wikipedia through on their devices.

This is after a deal was struck between mobile network provider Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organisation that operates Wikipedia.

The SciDev.Net reports February 13, 2012 that the scheme targets the region’s 70 million customers of Orange, who will be given free access to Wikipedia on their internet-enabled ‘smart’ phones.

It will allow Orange customers to read and download information from Wikipedia without the usual data usage charges, the report said.

“Price is a strong barrier to people accessing the Internet, particularly in Africa,” SciDev.Net quoted Vanessa Clarke, spokesperson for Orange as saying.

By Ekow Quandzie

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