Wikipedia Zero is a great initiative from the country’s largest mobile phone operator. Ncell has announced on May 9th, 2014 that all of their users in Nepal can now surf Wikipedia – the free encyclopedia for free irrespective of any data packages in use or being purchased. It is Ncell that made Nepal one of 22 countries where Wikipedia can be surfed for free from user’s mobile devices.
Ncell write on their official website:
Ncell, country’s leading mobile service provider, has joined hands with the Wikimedia Foundation and is launching a new product – Wikipedia Zero – under which all Ncell customers will be able to access the world’s largest online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, free of mobile data charges.
Wikipedia Zero is coming into effect from May 7. This means, from May 7, all Ncell customers accessing Ncell internet will be able to browse Wikipedia at zero cost. There is no service fee attached to the product and no product activation is required as well.
“Wikipedia Zero is one of our initiatives to provide great value to our customers. It will pave the way for present and future subscribers of Ncell to try our data service for free and also deliver a huge knowledge base in their hands,” said Erim Taylanlar, chief executive officer of Ncell.
Ncell believes this free access to Wikipedia will help contribute and support a growing number of articles in the Nepali version of Wikipedia. As of publishing this article there are a total of 26,598 articles in Nepali language in Wikipedia Nepali.
Wikipedia facts tell there are 30 million plus articles in 287 different languages making Wikipedia world’s largest online free user-generated encyclopedia.
Facts & FAQs about Ncell Wikipedia Zero
- ALL CONTENTS inside Wikipedia are FREE for Ncell users. This includes text, media of all types including audio files, video and animation graphics, editing or contributing articles in Wikipedia. However, ONLY Wikipedia is covered under this Ncell Wikipedia Zero program – excludes all other Wikimedia products and services (which we thought should have been included, as all Wikimedia products are equally beneficial for users if FREE KNOWLEDGE is accounted for.)
- Wikipedia Zero is not available for users surfing Wikipedia on proxy browsers like Opera Mini, Opera Mobile, Blackberry, Nokia browser, mobile handsets with GWT (Google Web Toolkit – Google rendered webpages) and others. This is the technical constraint for providing free Wikipedia pages on Ncell data network.
- External citations & references NOT covered: While all internal links inside Wikipedia are covered under this free or Wikipedia Zero scheme, references cited in those Wikipedia articles usually external links are chargeable according your existing Ncell data plan rate. So, be noted clicking external links in Wikipedia result in standard data charge but users need to confirm before getting out of Wikipedia for external links.
- Surfing Wikipedia in any devices – non-proxy browsers in desktops, laptop, tablets, smartphones, and other handhelds (most probably excludes gaming consoles – though not tested) is free. Hence, Ncell users using data plans or packages in their laptops can use Wikipedia for free. Do note that NO DATA PLAN is required to use Wikipedia Zero.
Note from the Wikimedia Foundation on Wikipedia Zero
- Ncell’s free Wikipedia browsing “Wikipedia Zero” scheme doesn’t cover rest of 11 Wikimedia projects listed above.
- Ncell on May 18th, 2014 (after 11 days of announcement of this free Wikipedia surfing scheme) corrected their scheme / offer name from “Free Wikipedia” to “Free Wikipedia browsing.” The image posted above has been rectified by Team TechSansar to reflect the correction before Ncell did.