Free Basics in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa
I have been thinking for a while on how to write an article on the value of accessing the internet and while I have composed it in my head over the last few weeks - there is a more pressing story I need to tell. A story of a free resource that is available in many developing countries around the world (40 to be exact). This resource is one that can bring women with a feature phone that can access the internet or a smart phone information that can be lifesaving, information that can be educational, information that can be informative.
I am talking about Free Basics - a service brought to us by Facebook. "Free Basics by Facebook provides people with access to useful services on their mobile phones in markets where internet access may be less affordable. The websites are available for free without data charges, and include content on things like news, employment, health, education and local information. By introducing people to the benefits of the internet through these websites, we hope to bring more people online and help improve their lives." (Source: https://info.internet.org/en/story/free-basics-from-internet-org/)
On May 10th - Free Basics was launched in Nigeria with Airtel and 80+ content providers including Intel She Will Connect. This is a great opportunity to access information for free, without data charges.
Call to action: Spread the word to your networks, teach women how to swap out SIM cards to access Free Basics if needed (tutorial to be posted shortly). Use Free Basics yourself!
Here is a list of where Free Basics is available with the mobile operator included:
Africa & Middle East
Angola (Movicel) Benin (MTN) Cape Verde (Unitel) Democratic Republic of the Congo (Airtel, Tigo) Gabon (Airtel) Ghana (Airtel) Guinea (Cellcom) Guinea-Bissau (MTN) Iraq (Korek) Kenya (Airtel) Liberia (Cellcom) Malawi (Airtel & TNM) Mauritania (Mauritel) Mozambique (Mcel) Niger (Airtel) Nigeria (Airtel) Rwanda (Airtel) Senegal (Tigo) Seychelles (Airtel) South Africa (Cell C) Tanzania (Tigo) Zambia (Airtel)
Bangladesh (Grameenphone & Robi) Cambodia (Smart Axiata) Indonesia (Indosat) Maldives (Ooredoo) Mongolia (G-Mobile, Mobicom & Skytel) Pakistan (Telenor & Zong) Philippines (Globe & Smart) Thailand (DTAC & TrueMove) Timor-Leste (Telkomcel) Vanuatu (Telecom)
Bolivia (Viva) Colombia (Tigo) El Salvador (Digicel) Guatemala (Tigo) Mexico (Virgin) Panama (Digicel) Peru (Entel) Suriname (Digicel)
Free Basics will continue to expand to more countries around the world. (Source: https://info.internet.org/en/story/where-weve-launched/)