Telenor Wikipedia Zero partnership will provide free access to Wikipedia on mobile in Myanmar

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Telenor CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas at celebration.

As we announced today, the Wikimedia Foundation and Telenor have expanded our Wikipedia Zero partnership established in early 2012 to now include Myanmar. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was in Oslo today and celebrated the agreement with Telenor’s President and CEO Jon Fredrik Baksaas.

On 27 June 2013, Telenor was named one of two successful applicants for a telecommunications license in Myanmar. With new mobile competition the country will see better network service, internet-capable phones and lower prices to drive mobile internet usage.

This is a big deal because Myanmar currently has one of the lowest mobile penetration rates in the world of less than 10 percent – only North Korea and Eritrea have lower rates. The Myanmar government’s stated objective is to increase mobile penetration to 80 percent in the next three years (overall internet penetration is estimated at roughly one percent). Another 40 million people will get mobile service, and many of them will be introduced to the internet for the first time.

With the extension of the partnership, Telenor Myanmar’s future mobile subscribers will be able to access the vast knowledge base in Wikipedia free of data charges. And they will be able to freely contribute their voices to Wikipedia. Today some people in Myanmar use Wikipedia, primarily in English, but usage is not widespread. The local Wikimedia community is working to grow the Burmese language version to reach a wider audience.

Removing barriers to access Wikipedia for people in Myanmar is a major step toward our goal of making the sum of all human knowledge available to everyone. We’re excited to see the benefits of this new partnership unfold.

Carolynne Schloeder
Director of Mobile Programs, Wikimedia Foundation

 

Categories: Mobile, Wikipedia Zero
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4 Comments on Telenor Wikipedia Zero partnership will provide free access to Wikipedia on mobile in Myanmar

Sao Poe 11 months

This will surely help Burmese to write more in their own languages.As of now they only have one in Bama language. Other Burmese languages – Mon, Karen, Shan etc wiki pages should be created now.

Richa Singh 12 months

As we know wikki is a world famous website which are providing true information for the peoples of world and its access by mobile become easy to the peoples and Myanmar which is small country proved they are best..

Matthew Roth 12 months

Sorry, Tom, that was a typo. It should have read “increase internet penetration to 80 percent…” in that sentence, not mobile. International Telecommunications Union estimated 1% internet penetration in 2012.

http://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/Statistics/Pages/stat/default.aspx

Tom West 12 months

The article states that “Myanmar currently has one of the lowest mobile penetration rates in the world of less than 10 percent”… then says “The Myanmar government’s stated objective is to increase mobile penetration to 80 percent in the next three years, up from the current one percent”
So is the current rate 1% or 10%?

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