Aircel partnership brings Wikipedia Zero to India

Wikipedia Zero is now available in India

It is our mission to provide free access to knowledge for everyone in the world. It’s only fitting then that today we announced our first Wikipedia Zero partnership launch in India, the world’s second most populous country with over 1.2 billion people.  Our new partnership with Aircel will give 60 million mobile subscribers in India the potential to access Wikipedia at no data cost, bringing the program’s global partnership footprint to 470 million subscribers.

While mobile penetration in India is over 70 percent (867 million subscribers), the total Internet audience of India is only 77 million people (Comscore, June 2013), roughly the same as Japan (73 million, Comscore June 2013) – a country with 1/10th the population.  Infrastructural and economic barriers in India, where income per capita is 1/30th that of Japan, have led to this divide in information access.  However, the proliferation of mobile – and programs like Wikipedia Zero – will change that. Already, India has passed Japan to become the third largest smartphone market in the world.

The challenge in enabling knowledge access in India is not just about distribution and cost, though; it’s also about language. India has no national language, but there are 22 recognized official languages in the country. Many Indians are not only accessing the internet for the first time on mobile, but also non-English content is becoming accessible for the first time via mobile.

Hindi Wikipedia, for example, currently has 22.1 percent of page views globally coming from mobile compared to 17.3 percent for all other languages .[1]  We hope to further catalyze this transformation as Wikipedia users on Aircel can access English, Hindi, Tamil or any of the other 17 Indic language Wikipedias without being charged data fees .[2]

To meet our commitment to bringing free knowledge to everyone in the world, we need to break down the barriers that prevent access. With Wikipedia Zero officially available today on Aircel in India, we’re one step closer to that objective.

Amit Kapoor
Senior Manager, Mobile Partnerships, Wikimedia Foundation

Notes

  1. From stats.wikimedia.org, June 2013: Hindi Wikipedia page views (2.1M mobile /9.5M all); Wikipedia worldwide (3,672M mobile/21,229M all)
  2. A phone or browser must have the capability to render an Indic font in order to access non-English versions.

 

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15 Comments on Aircel partnership brings Wikipedia Zero to India

isha patel 1 month

First of All Thanks to Aircel for taking this wonderful initiative in India,being one of the Aircel Subscriber feeling good to know this.Ian sure in the near future all the other telecom operators to opt these kind of decisions.

Krishna 5 months

Its Really very helpful to access Wikipedia without cost. Thanks for sharing

Jagadeesh 6 months

Very good service from aircel it really helps to rural place in the state.

online alışveriş 1 year

how a person can use this service…..

Mujtaba Patwegar 1 year

Thats good news! Aircel is emerging brand in India and it will also provide good info to all aspiring students around the world!

Santhosh 1 year

obviously

Santhosh 1 year

Thanks to Wikipedia & Aircel

Vinod 1 year

Superb…
It’s great opportunity for student who live in at Village.

yogi 1 year

firstly i wana thank to aircel for this good news to its users this will make hike in its sell also users will get benefited by feee knowlwdge on various unknown n known topics…..
But i hv 1 quest….
how a person can use this service…..

Udai 1 year

That’s great achievement in bringing the free information in a real free manner. Hats off to you and your Organisation Mr. Jimmy.

Sai Suresh 1 year

First of All Thanks to Aircel for taking this wonderful initiative in India,being one of the Aircel Subscriber feeling good to know this.Ian sure in the near future all the other telecom operators to opt these kind of decisions.

BarathVutukuri 1 year

Good Initiative…

Ramkumar nadar 1 year

It is vry useful for undeveloped state in India

Ramkumar nadar 1 year

Its vry useful for undeveloped state in India

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