“Internet.org” was launched on August 20th 2013. It was seen that though 85% of world has access to cellular network only 30% of the world’s population uses internet. Hence, emerged Internet.org; free web concept, which is a joint venture of Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and Samsung.
Its main aim was internet connectivity of the world and spread awareness of internet as well as make it free of cost to a huge segment which seemed skeptical about internet due to affordability as one of the reasons.
In Mobile World Congress held on March 1st 2015 at Barcelona, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced his vision of reaching to 100 countries by the end of this year. In July 2014 Internet.org app was launched in Zambia for Airtel subscribers which then progressed to Tanzania in October 2014, Kenya Nov 2014, Columbia Jan 2015, Ghana Jan 2015 and now in India Feb 2015. In India
Facebook and Reliance Communications have launched the Internet.org Android app which can be accessed by the Reliance subscribers in six Indian states namely: Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, and Telangana. The users in India have been given free access to various services like news, health, travel, local jobs, maternal queries, Government information and communications.
Worldwide Internet.org app provides a free access to the following apps which is useful to people from various sectors like the farmers, fishermen, housewives, school kids, teen agers, job seekers even for the new moms to name a few: -
- AccuWeather.com: This provides information of the weather and is good for farmers and fishermen for whom weather predictions would definitely mean a lot of help in their occupation. Also this can provide additional help to the travel industry as based on this information they can plan out their sightseeing expeditions.
- eZelibrary: This app is available for Zambia as of now and it provides access to the Zambian library, it gives information of the labor law and also the Zambian constitution. Useful for lawyers and NGOs.
- Facts for life: This gives information on health and it helps families and communities to realize the rights of women and children. Also it gives health related information. Good for doctors and people who are related to health industry.
- Google search is free: It helps users to get information at any time. A good tool for housewives to learn more recipes and keep themselves up to date.
- Facebook: Users are given access so that they can stay connected to their family and friends across the world however the free service restrict the users from uploading the videos and photos to their walls as this consumes a lot of space.
- Job information: It provides the details of vacancies in different firms and is a useful tool for job seekers.
- Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA): This is advanced site which provides health information to moms regarding pregnancy and baby care.
- WRAPP: Women’s Right App: This is a protection provided to protect women against crime.
- UReport: This gives latest information on the current affairs. Farmers can check the latest news and understand what is market rate for their crop type and hence can quote a higher price for their produce.
- Wikipedia: This is an information site which is helpful for education sector, students and it is available in many languages. Housewives can get information from these and it would help them to keep themselves updated so as that they can guide their kids in education.
- Messenger: This app is again a free service which helps people to stay connected and also can be of great help in any emergency or mishaps.
Data service providers who have joined hands with Internet.org have also had their share of profit in this venture because they do not provide full access to the users and its just the basic access to the essential apps. However, it was seen that there was a marked rise in the number of users who got converted to paid users. The number is surprising in Columbia, it was 50% while even the smartphone retails have been benefitted as seen in Tanzania which showed marked increase in sale by 10%.
Though there are news that some service providers do not want internet to be free across the world however Facebook has joined hands with Government of different countries and is using latest advance technology of Lasers, drones and satellites along with service providers to bring this dream true. Indeed appears as if there will be Internet Revolution in the world.
FreeNet and Internet.org is here to provide thousands of Indians who live in remotest areas of India with free internet and information at the tip of their hands.