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Wikipedia Partners Aircel To Offer Free Access

Telecom 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.com, Mobile.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…

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