BARCELONA, Spain ― Aside from running a social networking and mobile messaging service, Facebook is also a crusader of the Internet, encouraging Web firms, mobile carriers and device-makers to join an initiative to help bring the world, especially less-connected nations, online.
A top official from Facebook said that handset-makers including Samsung Electronics deserve credit for the accomplishments so far in boosting the use of Internet around the world.
“Handset manufacturers like Samsung play a very important role in bringing connectivity to the world and I think the industry deserves a lot of credit and recognition for bringing down the cost of handsets,” said Chris Daniels, vice president of Facebook’s Internet.org in a briefing with reporters from the Asia-Pacific region Wednesday (local time).
Facebook launched the global initiative in 2013 with the aim of making life better by getting more people connected.
Facebook and its partners provide free basic Internet services in a wide range of sectors, including health care, education and finance, to the unconnected population of the world through the Internet.org initiative.
In line with the global nonprofit project as well as its marketing strategy to secure a broader customer base, Samsung has been rolling out budget devices including the Galaxy A series and the Tizen smartphone in recent years.
Through the first round of Internet.org programs started in six countries including Colombia, Paraguay and the Philippines last year, Facebook, local governments and telecom operators saw the Internet penetration rate jump by 40 percent on average.
Encouraging more business entities to join the initiative, the vice president said allowing more people to taste the usefulness of the Internet would also benefit network operators as they can be assured of loyal customers in the future.
In Colombia, the number of data users of local telecom firm Tigo increased 50 percent since the start of the Internet.org initiative and the smartphone sales in Tanzania increased around 10 percent.
Around 7 million people have come online since the launch of the project, according to Facebook.
Source: Korea Herald