<CPOV> Free Wikipedia on Telenor phones in Asia

Maja van der Velden majava at ifi.uio.no
Mon Apr 23 22:09:01 CEST 2012

(sorry - hit the 'Send' instead of 'save As Draft' button - here is the complete message)


I was today at the Norwegian Go Open / Wikipedia Academy meeting today in Oslo.

Jimmy Wales arrived in the afternoon and received a pop star welcoming.

Later the Norwegian crown prince arrived as well the the Norwegian minister of international development. The Director Digital Services of Telenor (Norway's largest telecommunications company) announced that Telenor and Wikipedia had signed a deal providing free (no data traffic costs) access to Wikipedia for all of Telenor's 140 million customers in Asia. The plan is that this will be expanded to other Telenor customers in other countries. 

We all watched this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_x7GBOsl1OU At around 1 min. 20 you see the Bangladeshi kids take an oath ...

Also the minister spoke. He had the same message as the Telenor director - open source mobile IT will bring development, bring down poverty, support access to knowledge, and bring democracy. 

Jimmy Wales did not say anything new in his keynote, which started and ended with his "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge" vision. Nice to know was that now 470 million users access Wikipedia every month. He is a happy man. First the Orange deal in February - Orange is a French telecom - which will bring free Wikipedia to 70 million Orange customers in Africa and the Middle East, now Telenor. The question to ask is: how many of these 210 million customers have an Internet-enabled phone? Wales showed us his Ideos phone, which is Internet-enabled and cost 'only' 80 $. He is convinced that the price of such mobile phones will come down quickly.

It was the ICT4D discourse of the 90s being re-invented as the "mobile revolution of the 2010s". (Maybe we need another Incommunicado meeting - Geert!).


Telenor partnership makes Wikipedia free on mobile: http://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/02/28/telenor-partnership-makes-wikipedia-free-on-mobile/
Orange to provide Wikipedia free in Middle East and Africa: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/jan/24/orange-wikipedia-mobile-devices-free
Jimmy Wales phone: http://www.huaweidevice.com/resource/mini/201008174756/ideos/
Incommunicado: http://networkcultures.org/wpmu/portal/projects/project-archive/incommunicado/

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