Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has been appointed to the board of The People’s Operator, a mobile network set up at the end of 2012 to transform the telecoms industry.
The for-profit operation based in Tech City is online-only and spends little on offices and marketing, which enables it to give 10 per cent of each person's bill directly to a charity of their choice.
A further 25 per cent of TPO's overall profit also goes to the TPO Foundation, which passes that on to good causes like the NSPCC, the Big Issue Foundation and Childline. The company also works with the Unite and GMB unions, the Labour Party, as well promoting the Living Wage and sustainable supply chains.
Wales has taken a stake in the business and will work as co-chair of the board, where he will drive the growth of a global community. The operator is looking to expand into 'key markets', starting with the US.
Speaking of his appointment, announced at DLD14 (Digial-Life-Design) in Munich, Wales said: “With over 4bn mobile phone subscribers forecast for 2016 worldwide, TPO has huge potential for viral growth and the more it grows, the more money will pass to the people and communities that need it.
"Only a small percentage in global take up will make a massive difference to people’s lives. Just as Wikipedia grew virally as communities wanted to work together to liberate knowledge, so I believe TPO will grow in a similar way as communities work together to support good causes across the globe.”
Even with such noble aims, the operator offers pretty competitive SIM-only deals, with customers charged £14.99 for unlimited data, texts and calls. Business users can get handsets on contract starting at £17.50 per month for a Nokia Lumia 520 and reaching £37 per month for an iPhone 5.