Facebook has partnered with Airtel Malawi and TNM to launch an internet.org application that will enable subscribers access free basic Internet services.
Facebook chief executive officer Mark Zuckerberg said in a statement with the launch, internet.org is now available to more than one billion people around the world.
“Giving people free access is the right thing to do. We will keep connecting more people and more countries and we won’t stop until every person in the world can connect to the Internet,” he said.
Airtel Malawi chief commercial officer Charles Kamoto said in a statement on Thursday the partnership is aimed at promoting the penetration, affordability and accessibility to Internet services.
The introduction of the application will replace all Facebook free offers, which Airtel Malawi has been running since February and ends on May 15 2015, said the statement.
“This development has come at the right time. We shall take the lead in escalating digital inclusion by reaching out and offering the best Internet to as many Malawians as possible.
“In this digital age, Internet is yet another human right and the time is now for people in the country to enjoy this right freely,” said Kamoto.
With Facebook’s internet.org app in Malawi, Airtel customers will have free access to Facebook, Bing, mycfinder, Ask, Wikipedia, wikiHow, Accuweather, BBC News, ESPN FC, Supersport, Jobs In Malawi, Pamsika, DAI, BabyCenter & Mama, Unicef (Facts for Life), Unicef (EbOla), Malaria no More, Wattpad, FunDZA, Scholars4Dev, Dictionary.com, Translate.com, Thesauras.com, Nike Foundation (Girl Effect) and Economic Empowerment (UN Women).
Kamoto said the offer will give customers freedom to access basic services by visiting www.internet.org or by downloading internet.org app to their data enabled mobile handsets from Google play store.
He said the normal data charges will only apply when a user browses outside the set of basic services.
There was no immediate response from TNM, which is yet to respond to an enquiry from Business News.