Facebook ties up with Reliance Communications to launch Internet.org in India, bringing a service that the social media giant says helps affordable Internet access.
India now becomes the sixth destination for Internet.org, a Facebook-led initiative envisaged about a year-and-a-half back with six other founding partners, including Samsung and Qualcomm. The service has already been launched in Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Colombia and Ghana.
Facebook’s Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the development on his social network. He posted, “More than a billion people in India don’t have access to the internet. That means they can’t enjoy the same opportunities many of us take for granted, and the entire world is robbed of their ideas and creativity.”
The tie-up gives subscribers of the Anil Ambani-led Reliance Communications who have Internet-enabled handsets free access to 38 Websites – a mix of news, music, education, weather and health sites. The list includes Facebook, Wikipedia, and Reliance Astrology. The lone search option available is Microsoft’s Bing. They can be accessed via an Android app.
For the time being, the service has gone live in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. The pan-India launch is planned in three months. Nearly 70% of Reliance’s customers who have Internet-enabled phones but are now offline are expected to avail themselves of this service.
Cable Quest had earlier reported Mark Zuckerberg our PM, Narendra Modi his help in making a ‘Digital India’ the November 2014 issue.