CAJ News Agency (Johannesburg)

29 May 2014

Nigeria: Airtel Offers Free Internet Service

Abuja — AIRTEL Nigeria, the country's leading telecommunications operator, has offered its customers free access to Wikipedia in an effort to spur internet adoption locally.

According to Chief Commercial Officer, Airtel Nigeria, Maurice Newa, the initiative is in line with the company's corporate vision of becoming Nigeria's leading internet company.

“We have a strategic partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia, to offer their consumers across the country access to Wikipedia through their mobile phones free of data charges”.

Newa said the initiative was the first of its kind in Nigeria and was dubbed Wikipedia Zero.

He said it is aimed at empowering billions of people around the world whose access to the internet was primarily through a mobile device.

Airtel Nigeria subscribers can access Wikipedia free of data charges at m.wikipedia.org.

“With the new partnership, Airtel will help deliver knowledge and information of Wikipedia to 21 million of new users in the West African region,” News said.

He said the new service would help connect Nigerians with relevant knowledge and information that will empower them to succeed in their personal and professional endeavours.

He said Airtel was excited with the partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation and would continue to provide innovative solutions that would uplift Nigerians in line with the company's brand promise of becoming the most loved brand in the daily lives of Nigerians.

"At Airtel, we are passionate and committed to creating solid educational and youth empowerment platforms that will enrich and transform the lives of telecoms consumers across the country,” he said.

Head of Mobile Partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation, Carolynne Schloeder, commended Airtel Nigeria for taking a leadership role in empowering society through information access.

“We are thrilled to partner with them. Expanding Wikipedia Zero to the people of Nigeria is a big step forward for free knowledge in Africa.”

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