Telecommunication service provider Ncell announced on Tuesday the launch of its new product Wikipedia Zero to be effective from Wednesday. According to the company, the new service will enable customers to access the world’s largest online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, free of mobile data charges. Ncell has partnered with the Wikimedia Foundation to provide the service. The facility of free browsing, however, will not be available on Opera Mini, Blackberry and other handsets using native proxy browsers due to technical constraints, the company said.
Addressing a media meet in the capital, Erim Taylanlar, chief executive officer of Ncell, said that information was the key to further development of any country at the present time, and that the new service would not only help obtain free information but also enrich Nepali literature in the global arena through Wikipedia. “Wikipedia Zero is one of our initiatives to provide great value to our customers. It will pave the way for present and future Ncell subscribers to try our data service for free, and also deliver a huge knowledge base into their hands,” said Taylanlar.
As of now, there are around 10,000 contents on Wikipedia available in the Nepali language. Wikipedia is the world’s largest online encyclopaedia, visited by 500 million people each month, according to Comscore. Wikipedia contains more than 30 million articles in 287 languages. Ncell believes free access to knowledge will contribute to Nepali society greatly, helping to close the knowledge gap and excel, said Sanju Koirala, corporate communication director of Ncell.
According to the company, visiting external links present on Wikipedia is out of the scope of this offer, and it will be charged as per the existing data plan. Mobile customers, whenever they click on an external link, will be shown a notification indicating that standard data charges will apply to view the link, and it will be open only on subscribers’ consent.
Source: The Kathmandu Post