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Facebook to bring Internet.org free basic services to Cell C customers

By Staff Writer

Cell C has teamed-up with Facebook to bring affordable Internet access to consumers through the launch of Facebook’s initiative, Internet.org free basic services in South Africa.

Internet.org was developed by Facebook and its technology partners to create a way to bring affordable Internet access to under-served communities.

“We are excited to bring Internet.org free basic services to Cell C customers in South Africa,” says Markku Makelainen, Director of Global Operator Partnerships at Facebook. “With Internet.org free basic services, more people in South Africa will have access to resources and information that can create new opportunities and ideas, and help improve their lives.”

Bringing access to those that need it most has become an imperative in SA, with only 10,9% of South African households having access to the Internet at home, despite 85% of them having access to a mobile phone.

“Given that so few people have access to the Internet despite the number of mobile phones in SA, shows the need for organisations like Facebook and Cell C to partner to overcome challenges such as affordability,” says Cell C CEO, Jose Dos Santos.

From 1 September for a period of 12 months, customers who want to continue using Facebook Messenger, post comments, view and share posts and view News Feeds and profiles free of charge, can do so by accessing Facebook through the Internet.org application.

Viewing and posting pictures, as well as, breakout Internet browsing, VOIP calling, Facebook videos, YouTube and Instagram will be charged at standard data rates or will deplete data bundles where available. Customers will also have the option to buy Cell C data bundles while on Facebook or Internet.org.

During the 12-month period, all the sites available through Internet.org on the Cell C network will remain free when accessing links through the application.

The Internet.org initiative will bring these households free access to services like healthcare information, educations sites and job searches. A full list of sites is included below.

Cell C customers can access the Internet.org application through the Google Play Store or visit www.internet.org.

Furthermore, building on its strategy to embrace over-the-top (OTT) players, Cell C is now offering promotional zero-rated access to Facebook.

“We were the first and only mobile player in SA to offer zero-rated access to WhatsApp and now we are building on that with this Facebook offering,” says Santos.

Through this offer, Cell C is reaffirming its commitment to provide the best value offerings to its customers through innovative partnerships. The popularity of the WhatsApp promotion has allowed Cell C to expand its OTT value adds and will continue to look at innovative ways to bring these services to its customers.

Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos
Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos

“Facebook is one of the most popular services used by our customers and this offering will make it more affordable for them to share their lives with those closest to them,” says Dos Santos.

From 1 July, Facebook usage will be free to all existing and new postpaid, top up and prepaid customers and will continue until 31 August 2015.

Customers will be able to use Messenger, post comments and pictures, view and share posts and pictures and view News Feed and profiles at no charge. Breakout Internet browsing, VOIP calling, Facebook videos, YouTube and Instagram will be charged at standard data rates or will deplete data bundles available. Customers will also have the option to buy Cell C data bundles while on Facebook or Internet.org.

Postpaid and top up customers will automatically get free access to Facebook and Internet.org while prepaid customers need to ensure they recharge once every 30 days to show they are active on the network.

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