updated 02:00 pm EST, Tue January 24, 2012
Orange gives 10m users free access to Wikipedia
Wireless provider Orange will give free access to Wikipedia from mobile devices in the Middle East and Africa. This will give millions of users access to the digital, user-generated encyclopedia without incurring data charges. Orange said this deal is the first of its kind.
Of the nearly 70 million Orange subscribers in the region, about 10 million have access to mobile web as their devices support 2G or 3G networks. Over the course of the year, Orange will extend the free service to 20 more markets.
With this scheme, Orange is hoping to boost the adoption of 2G and 3G phones to 50 percent of the local population by 2015. Currently, web-connected devices account for between 7 and 15 percent adoption rates in various areas of African and the Middle East.
Other providers are expected to launch similar deals, as the contract isn't exclusive. [via The Guardian]