Mark Zuckerberg is a partnership between Mark Zuckerberg and 6 major mobile  phone companies, 4 of which are located in Africa. The other 2 are in  Colombia and India. The main purpose of this partnership is to provide  free access to the internet. However, it will be free for selected  online applications such as Facebook and weather among others.

Since  there are still many people who do not have access to the internet,  Zuckerberg’s intention is to make the internet easily accessible and  also to help people in emerging markets. This will mean that more people  will have access to jobs, will create jobs, will have an opportunity to  educate themselves and it will generally reduce the rate of poverty  around the world, especially in developing countries. 

Although  some people and companies such as Airtel Africa have embraced this idea  and entered into the partnership, some mobile carriers feel that this is  not a wise move, especially for them since it does not create a level  playing field. They are even more bitter now since Zuckerberg acquired  Whatsapp, a free messaging service. Whatsapp caused a drop in revenue in  SMS messages since Whatsapp allows you to send text messages for free.  However, Zuckerberg made it clear that that was not the intention.

Mark Zuckerberg

He  simply intends to expose more people to the internet and after the  audience has tasted what the internet has to offer, they will be more  willing to pay for data in order to access other internet services.  You  may wonder why some online applications will be free on  while you will need to buy data to access others.

The reason Zuckerberg  gave for this is that most people use the internet to stream videos and  this may be quite expensive for mobile carriers to agree to offer for  free.

Hence, few online applications that are beneficial and yet cheap  for the mobile carriers will be made available including wikipedia.  Although some believe that is meant to make Facebook even  more dominant, this is really not the case since is not a  profit making project.

Confronted about this, Zuckerberg said that if he  was doing it for the money, he would have concentrated on the 1 billion  customers he already has signed up to Facebook. 

If all goes  well, internet will be affordable to many more people and this will be  an opportunity people to create more job and reduce unemployment rate  and people will also be more educated on important matters such as  health among others.


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