Umniah is the latest mobile operator to join the Wikipedia Zero free knowledge movement, and our first partner to launch in Jordan. Now Umniah’s 2.7 million mobile subscribers can access Wikipedia in Arabic and English free of data charges.
Nart Abdullah, Senior Value Added Services Officer at Umniah, came to us after hearing about Wikipedia Zero in the news. Umniah has a history of initiatives to reduce the digital gap, and Wikipedia Zero is in line with their values of community and inclusivity. According to CEO Ihab Hinnawi, Umniah is happy to provide free access to Wikipedia as “an important gateway to helping educate members of society, specifically ones facing financial burdens.” (Press release)
I recently joined the Wikimedia Foundation as Director of Mobile Programs, and Umniah is the first mobile operator I helped launch. I’m impressed with the way the Umniah team has embraced the program. They did a teaser campaign on their Facebook page asking general trivia questions leading up to the Wikipedia Zero announcement. That simple campaign captures the essence of Wikipedia opening a world of knowledge at your fingertips. And they even made a video about the partnership.
I’m also impressed with the Wikipedia Zero team and honored to be a part of it. We have a small and very talented group of people who work hard on implementations and infrastructure. We’re scaling our efforts to meet the growing commitments from mobile operators. So far we’ve rolled out in 19 countries, and we have agreements with carriers to serve over half a billion people.
Thanks again to Umniah, and welcome to the free knowledge movement. We’re glad you’re here (and I’m really glad to be here, too).
Director of Mobile Programs, Wikimedia Foundation