Together, we are creating the most comprehensive encyclopedia that has ever existed - Wikipedia. Wikipedia belongs to all of us.
Volunteer Wikipedians around the world work hard to compile the sum of all human knowledge, to make it freely available to every single person on the planet. For many readers in the Global South, the primary (and often only) access to the internet is via mobile. However, mobile data costs are a significant barrier to internet usage. We created Wikipedia Zero so that everyone can access all the free knowledge on Wikipedia, even if they can't afford the mobile data charges.
Transparency and accountability are among our core values, and we invite you take a look at the Wikipedia Zero operating principles. So far we've launched Wikipedia Zero in 52 countries with 68 operators (and in process of renewing 8 operators). We estimate that more than 309 million people can now access Wikipedia free of data charges. Our goal is to work with every mobile operator on the planet -- email us at wikipediazerowikimedia.org.
Benefits to partners
Wikipedia Zero has clear benefits to users and to the Wikimedia movement. It also makes good business sense for operators. It's smart to take a leadership role in providing access to vital services over the mobile network, both to educate people about the life-changing power of the mobile internet, and to support economic and societal growth. Operators who support Wikipedia Zero recognize that offering use of their network free of charge can have a huge impact on the people they serve, so it's good business.
Concept and experience
Implementing Wikipedia Zero is simple. The operator "zero-rates" access to Wikimedia sites in their billing system, so their subscribers will not incur data charges while accessing Wikipedia and the sister projects on the mobile web or apps. Wikimedia recognizes the user is on that operator's network and serves a banner on the top of the page indicating free data courtesy of their mobile operator, which reinforces a positive brand experience for the operator. When the user leaves the Wikimedia sites, they see a warning message and are asked to confirm, so there is no confusion or risk of surprise charges. Wikipedia Zero itself is not a separate product from the core Wikipedia mobile site.