Mobile phone network provider Orange have joined up with the Wikimedia Foundation to offer mobile access to Wikipedia in Africa and also the Middle East – and the good news is there will be with no data charges. What this means is totally free usage of Wikipedia for almost Seventy million cellular telephone users that have internet access in that region.
This relationship has happened because the companies’ 2009 collaboration, which they have told us is the very first mobile phone and Internet collaboration, which then wanted to “broaden the reach of Wikimedia’s initiatives via avenues on the Orange mobile phone and websites in the European union. It’s expected that this new initiative will rollout over the coming year”
The collaboration is important mainly because it shows the effectiveness of the mobile marketplace within growing economies; basically showing that this is the place businesses are really starting to focus a lot of initiatives to get consumers, and I guess this demonstrates that relationships between market sectors may be the solution. It’s obvious that focusing on mobile phone customers instead of laptop computer or Personal computer customers is perfect for the realistic reason that these growing economies, consumers are very likely to have a mobile phone than another type of gadgets.
You can checkout the video on the Orange Innovation TV website for a really good overview to this new service. The Marketing Project Manager at Orange Olivier Mouangue, said “In Africa, more and more people have accessibility to a mobile rather than a personal computer and fixed web. As a result, providing access to Wikipedia’s totally free content material is important. ” Therefore the dash to get online that we’ve seen happen in the Western world via Personal computers and laptop computers before reaching mobile phones is actually missing one step in the developing community and heading directly to mobile.
I guess the real question should be why would Orange partner with Wikipedia instead of another website? Looking at the news release, emphasis is focused on the simple fact that Wikipedia is viewed as a resource of real information, and therefore Orange are making this knowledge a lot more obtainable to people in these locations, that’s helpful due to the good reputation Wikipedia has as an encyclopedia that you can create, and for that reason there are lots of problems with the robustness of this content and misinformation.
Nevertheless, one more reason that could have inspired the choice to partner with the Wikimedia Foundation is that, as outlined by Olivier Mounangue, Wikipedia is one of the top 10 most recognized brand names in the African continent, and due to the level of media and social media focus devoted to Wikipedia’s blackout this month, it’s obvious the website is nonetheless a significant internet force, in spite of it’s requests for contributions on its website.
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