Axiata partners with the Wikimedia Foundation to offer free mobile Wikipedia access through Wikipedia Zero
San Francisco, California and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -- March 19, 2013 -- Axiata Group Berhad and the Wikimedia Foundation today announced a partnership to offer Wikipedia on mobile devices free of data charges to Axiata customers throughout Asia. By making Wikipedia available at no data charge to its customers, Axiata is removing barriers to information while joining the Wikimedia Foundation to increase access to the free and open knowledge available on Wikipedia.
This partnership is part of the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikipedia Zero program, which focuses on reaching the billions of people around the world whose primary opportunity to access the internet is via a mobile device. The partnership currently includes customers of Axiata subsidiaries in Sri Lanka (Dialog Axiata), Cambodia (Smart Axiata), Malaysia (Celcom Axiata), Indonesia (XL Axiata), and Bangladesh (Robi Axiata).
“We applaud Axiata for joining us in removing a major barrier to accessing Wikipedia on mobile phones. This partnership is an important step forward in our mission to enable everyone on the planet to access free knowledge,” said Kul Takanao Wadhwa, Head of Mobile with the Wikimedia Foundation. “With Axiata, one of the largest Asian telecommunication providers, we're now able to expand free access to Wikipedia in more countries. With this partnership, Wikipedia Zero is now available to 410 million mobile users around the world.”
Mohd Khairil Abdullah, Group Chief Marketing and Operations Officer of Axiata said, “We are excited about this partnership with the Wikimedia Foundation. Axiata's extensive coverage across the region makes this partnership one of the largest provisions of free mobile access to Wikipedia to date. We hope that by offering this service for free we will be enriching the lives of our customers, especially ones with little or no fixed internet access.”
This partnership is part of Axiata's broad vision of advancing Asia through affordable connectivity and innovative technology. Education is a pillar for Axiata's business operations and social development commitment. Through the years, Axiata has established local education programmes in all its operating countries to help development in rural communities.
Customers in each territory will be able to access local language versions of Wikipedia along with the English version.
The program will be rolled out to Axiata's operations throughout 2013.
Axiata is one of the largest Asian telecommunication companies. Axiata has controlling interests in mobile operators in Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Cambodia with significant strategic stakes in India and Singapore. India represents one of the fastest growing markets in the world. In addition, the Malaysian-grown holding company has a stake in mobile telecommunication operations in Thailand.
The Group's mobile subsidiaries and associates operate under the brand name ‘Celcom' in Malaysia, ‘XL' in Indonesia, ‘Dialog' in Sri Lanka, ‘Robi' in Bangladesh, ‘Smart' in Cambodia, ‘Idea' in India and ‘M1' in Singapore.
The Group's, including its subsidiaries and associates, has over 215 million mobile subscribers in Asia. The Group revenue for 2012 was USD5.7 billion. The Group provides employment to over 20,000 people across Asia. Axiata's vision is to be a regional champion by 2015 by piecing together the best throughout the region in connectivity, technology and talent, uniting them towards a single goal: Advancing Asia.
Axiata was awarded the Frost & Sullivan 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 Asia Pacific ICT Award for Best Telecom Group and the Telecom Asia Best Regional Mobile Group 2010 and 2011 for its operations in multiple Asian markets.
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The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 475 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, September 2012). Available in 285 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 24 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of roughly 80,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
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