Kenyan mobile service provider Orange revealed that users on its network will be granted free access to online encyclopaedia Wikipedia, after it successfully signed a deal with the owners of the site, Wikimedia.
“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 in both Kiswahili and English”, said Telkom Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein. Orange currently has more than 70 million subscribers in Africa and the Middle East.
According to The Star in Nairobi, “the service is geared at supporting Wikimedia Foundation’s initiative of spreading free knowledge to the billions of people around the world, whose primary opportunity to access the internet is via a mobile device.”
This will be only the second time that an African mobile service operator has been granted permission to supply its users with free access to the website, as Uganda has already implemented the technology – another agreement between the Orange Group and the Wikimedia Foundation.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor