Airtel Africa, Facebook offer internet sans data charges for basic services in Africa

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel Africa has partnered with Facebook to provide Free Basics, services like health, educations, jobs, communication and local content, at no additional cost in Africa by March 2016.

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Free Basics is a set of basic websites and services to introduce people to the internet. Customers with an Airtel mobile connection will be able to access all the services that form part of Free Basics without paying extra for data charges or rental, a statement said.

In the first phase, Free Basics will be launched in Airtel Nigeria, DRC, Gabon and Niger followed by other Airtel Africa markets.

Christian de Faria, MD and CEO of Airtel Africa said, “With Africa’s widest 3G network, Airtel has been at the forefront of the data revolution in Africa. We are cognizant of the power of internet in changing lives of communities and this partnership with Facebook will aid in bringing more people online and reduce the digital divide.”

Airtel Africa is working with Facebook since 2014 for enhancing accessibility to the internet in an affordable manner.

Chris Daniels, VP of Internet.org, said, “More than one billion people have access to Internet.org's free basic services across Asia, Africa and Latin America today. Our intention is to help the people in Africa access relevant basic services that will help them improve their lives and also lead to more adoption of the internet.”

Reported By

Having over six years of experience in business journalism, Krishna has a knack for writing on telecom and IT. She believes that tryst with technology is the best thing that has ever happened to mankind. Krishna is a telecom analyst

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