Mobile network operators partner with Facebook to turn on the Free Basics app and website with zero data charges.
A partnership between Facebook, Orange and Airtel, Congolese mobile operators, now enables almost everyone to access certain websites thanks to a simple 50-unit calls and text messages top-up. It’s a real revolution towards free and universal access to important information, on mobile phones!
“Un partenariat entre Facebook, Orange et Airtel, des opérateurs mobiles congolais, permet à presque tout le monde d’accéder à certains sites Web grâce à 50 unités et à un chargement de messages texte. C’est une véritable révolution vers un accès gratuit et universel à des informations importantes, sur les téléphones mobiles!”
Internet serving the populations
The internet plays a crucial role in the free flow of information and ideas around the world and has the potential, ultimately, to contribute to the establishment of inclusive knowledge societies with access for all to information and public services.
In July of 2014, Facebook launched its Free Basics project in partnership with mobile operators around the world, with the goal of providing free mobile data to billions of people for whom it is still unavailable. The project plans to offer, free of charge, a variety of services (information related to the weather, the job market, health, etc.) to the populations that are unable to connect today, and all this thanks to a partnership between world leaders in the field of technology, non-profit organizations, local communities and experts from several different fields.
Free basics in DRC
Since launching in July of 2014, Free Basics is available in 20 countries including India, Colombia, Philippines, Guatemala, Kenya, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana to name a few. In August of 2015 Free Basics made its way to DR Congo thanks to the mobile telephone operator Tigo.
It is a well-known fact that in addition to Internet access, one of the major challenges in terms of the establishment of inclusive knowledge societies is the development of web content. It is important to develop more content in response to the economic, public and entertainment needs of Internet users at a local level.
In addition to Facebook and certain other websites, Free Basics provides free access to four websites that are administered by UNICEF DRC :
- Children’s rights
- Facts for Life
- Ponabana,UNICEF DRC’s blog
How to freely navigate these sites?
One must have an active Orange or Airtel SIM card and charge it up with 50 units destined for calls, text messages and other paid services. This gives phone users free access for one month, without needing to activate any Internet packages, to the multitude of websites made available by Free Basics, to the above-mentioned UNICEF websites and to certain other websites such as BBC News, Goal.com and Wikipedia.
For more, click on Discover Free Basics
This is an edited version of post published on the Ponabana website.
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