Orange Offer Free Wikipedia in Africa and Middle East

Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation will provide more than 70m Orange customers in Africa and the Middle East (AMEA) with mobile access to Wikipedia – without incurring data usage charges. Any customer with an Orange SIM and mobile internet-enabled phone will be able to access the Wikipedia site, either through their browser or an Orange widget app.

The initiative is part of the Wikimedia Foundations mobile strategy that aims to reach the billions of people around the world who access the internet solely through mobile devices.

“In countries where access to information is not always readily available, we are making it simple and easy for our customers to use the world’s most comprehensive online encyclopaedia,” says Marc Rennard, group executive vice president of Orange, Africa, the Middle-East and Asia. “It is the first partnership of this kind in the world where we are enabling customers to access Wikipedia without incurring any data charges; and shows Orange’s ability, once again, to innovate in Africa and the Middle East, and bring more value to our customers.”

In 2009, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation formed the world’s first mobile and internet partnership to expand the reach of Wikimedia’s projects through channels on Orange mobile and web portals in Europe.