Corporate News


Smart to offer Wikipedia access free of data charges




Posted on September 05, 2014


SMART COMMUNICATIONS, Inc. said it entered into a partnership with Wikimedia Foundation to provide the mobile phone company’s nearly 69 million customers with free unlimited access to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia until Feb. 3, 2015.

In a statement released yesterday, Smart said it will be launching the Wikipedia Zero program, allowing Smart, Talk ‘N Text and Sun Cellular subscribers to enjoy unlimited access to Wikipedia, free of data charges from their mobile devices.

“Wikipedia Zero is relevant in a country where access to both computer terminals and Internet connectivity is still relatively low, but where almost everyone owns a cellphone,” Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart, said in the statement.

Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopedia, visited by 500 million people each month, according to Comscore. It contains more than 30 million articles in 287 languages, curated by a global community of 80,000 volunteers.

“Under Wikipedia Zero, starting Sept. 5, 2014 until Feb. 3, 2015, all Smart, Talk ‘N Text, and Sun Cellular subscribers who will access m.wikipedia.org, zero.wikipedia.org, Wikipedia applications or any other Wikimedia Web sites on mobile devices, can do so without incurring data charges,” the statement read.

Carolynne Schloeder, head of global mobile partnerships at the Wikimedia Foundation, said: “Smart has been a terrific supporter of Wikimedia, and now we’re very happy to formalize our relationship with Wikipedia Zero,” adding that the local wireless service provider’s emphasis on education is aligned with Wikimedia’s global mission, driven locally by Wikimedia Philippines. -- Chrisee Jalyssa V. Dela Paz