MTN to provide free Wikipedia

South African mobile operator MTN has announced it will be providing its subscribers with free access to Wikipedia after receiving a neknomination from Five Roses Tea.

HumanIPO reported last year the Wikimedia Foundation had created a video along with the Sinenjongo High School Grade 12 class for a documentary, featuring requests for free online access to Wikipedia to aid in their school work.

The students had appealed to mobile operators in South Africa in 2012 but action was only taken after Wikimedia fundraiser Victor Grigas got involved.

“We are learners in Grade 12 at Sinenjongo High School. We recently heard that in some other African countries, like Kenya and Uganda, cell phone providers are offering their customers with free access to Wikipedia,” the letter to South African mobile operators said.

“We think this is a wonderful idea and would really like to encourage you also to make the same offer here in South Africa.”

MTN has responded to the request by providing free access to the online encyclopedia to their customers.

“We think this is a wonderful idea,” said MTN. “We know there are many school children in this country that don’t have access to research material.

“That’s why MTN is proud to be the first South African cellular network to make Wikipedia free.”

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