wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Wikipedia Partners Aircel To Offer Free Access

UntitledTelecom company Aircel has partnered with Wikimedia Foundation to offer free access to Wikipedia on mobile phone to Aircel subscribers. Aircel subscribers will be able to access zero.wikipedia.com (text only) and m.wikipedia.com (mobile version) for free of cost in 17 indic languages including English, Hindi, Tamil, among others.

The partnership is a part of Wikimedia Foundation’s Wikipedia Zero program, which focuses on providing accessing Wikipedia to people free of cost. Wikipedia was previously looking to partner with telecom operators in the country and the partnership with Aircel seems to be the first one in the country. Telcos such as Dialog (Sri Lanka), Mobilink (Pakistan), Digi (Malaysia), among others have already brought this project to other Asian countries.

Net Neutrality?

This is not the first time that any telco has partnered with web services to offer free access to the service. In April 2013, RCOM inked a deal with Twitter to launch a new plan – ‘Reliance Twitter Access Pack’ which offered free Twitter access across Twitter.comMobile.twitter.com and Twitter’s official mobile apps, to its GSM subscribers for 90 days.  In June 2013, RCOM had partnered STAR Sports to offer unlimited live streaming of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2013 tournament on STAR Sports mobile site to its subscribers. In June 2013, Bharti Airtel had partnered with Google to launch Free Zone service that will offer Airtel subscribers with free access to Google services such as Google Search, feature phone friendly version of Gmail and Google Plus.

That said, such kind of deals provides bandwidth and commercial considerations to certain sites, which is not good. Every site should be treated equally, as far as we are concerned.

Typically such partnerships are inked in order to drive more data usage and to be able to monetize these users after the deal period ends. Here it appears that there’s little financial gain from the partnership to the telco. Wikipedia is a free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project and is used by students across the world to educate themselves on a certain topic. Free access to the crowd source encyclopedia on mobile would be beneficial to students in developing countries where the only access to the Internet is through mobile. As much we would like it to be, data plans from telcos are not really that cheaper that students in low income families can afford.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

However, the impact of such program is limited to subscribers who can access the Internet on their mobile phones. India still remains a feature phone market, where 64.1 million were feature phone handsets were shipped in the country between January and April 2013, about 87% of the total handsets shipped. A lot of feature phone handsets these days do come with facility to access the Internet, however, how many are aware on how to use the feature? SMS still remains a strong medium to access information, probably a partnership with Innoz’ 55444.in to provide free Wikipedia on SMS could help. Currently, 55444.in has partnered with Wikipedia to offer its content on 55444 SMS service, however users are charged Re 1 for the SMS.

Written By

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

News

In this excerpt from the book, the authors focus on personal data and autocracies. One in particular – Russia.  Autocracies always prioritize information control...

News

By Jai Vipra, Senior Resident Fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy The use of new technology, including facial recognition technology (FRT) by police...

News

By Stella Joseph, Prakhil Mishra, and Yash Desai The Government of India circulated proposed amendments to the Consumer Protection (E-Commerce) Rules, 2020 (“E-Commerce Rules”) which...

News

By Rahul Rai and Shruti Aji Murali A little less than a year since their release, the Consumer Protection (E-commerce) Rules, 2020 is being amended....

You May Also Like

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ