Big companies like Facebook and Qualcomm had invited developers to a workshop organized by Internet.org. They worked on testing the apps for power and efficiency with a main aim to optimize them for running on entry-level smartphones, which at present make up the majority of the smartphones sales in developing nations like India.
Guy Rosen, Product Management Director at Internet.org states that out of 85% of population getting proper cell coverage, only 30% accesses the internet. Affordability and awareness are the 2 mains why most of the people never use the internet.
In order to bring those 70% of the people online, Internet.org has partnered up with many non-profit organizations, local communities, and technology pioneers like Qualcomm, Mediatek, Nokia, Facebook, Ericsson, Samsung, Facebook, etc.
The main goal is to make internet affordable to everyone, develop more efficient technologies, and to help drive growth to businesses via the internet.
To make this a reality, Internet.org has released its app which provides access to basic services like employment, health and local information services for free. This service will be initially available to Airtel subscribers in Zambia, but will be released to other parts of the world in future.
Airtel Zambia subscribers can access the following services via the Internet.org app for free:
AccuWeather, eZeLibrary, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Facts For Life, Wikipedia, Google Search, Go Zambia Jobs, Zambia uReport, etc.
As per TechOnline India, India can benefit a lot from such an app as more than 69% of the its population is still not connected to the internet.
The developers had hands-on session with the industry experts allowing them to test the performance of their application based on Qualcomm reference designs and Mobile development platforms. Facebook and Qualcomm also laid emphasis on the development of apps optimized for low-end devices popular in India.
Internet.org is currently in talks with many telecom operators in India for rolling out its app providing FREE internet access to some communities in the country.
It has not been made clear as how to they can afford providing free internet access to millions in the country, but we’ll be more than happy if they did. Free access to Google Search and Wikipedia will help a lot of students in the rural and remote parts of India. This in turn will lead to more literacy rate in the country and hence will increase the GDP.
We’ll update you with more development on this story as soon as they are made public. Stay tuned on ITN!