FYI - posted today at

Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation partner to offer Wikipedia in Africa
and the Middle East at no extra cost


   In the first partnership of its kind, Orange and the Wikimedia
   Foundation will provide more than 70 million Orange customers in Africa and
   the Middle East (AMEA) with mobile access to Wikipedia - without incurring
   data usage charges

San Francisco, CA, and Paris, France -- January 24, 2012 -- Orange and the
Wikimedia Foundation today announced a major partnership designed to make
knowledge more easily available to Orange mobile customers throughout
Africa and the Middle East. In the first partnership of its kind for
Wikipedia, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation will provide customers in
both remote and urban areas of AMEA with access to Wikipedia.

In 2009, Orange and the Wikimedia Foundation formed the world’s first
mobile and Internet partnership to expand the reach of Wikimedia’s projects
through channels on Orange mobile and web portals in Europe. This new
partnership will be gradually launched throughout 2012 across 20 African
and Middle Eastern countries where Orange operates, with the first markets
launching early in the year. The initiative is part of the Wikimedia
Foundation's mobile strategy that aims to reach the billions of people
around the world who access the Internet solely through mobile devices.

Any customer with an Orange SIM and mobile internet enabled phone will be
able to access the Wikipedia site either through their browser or an Orange
widget. They can access the Wikipedia encyclopedia services for as many
times as they like at no extra charge as long as they stay within
Wikipedia’s pages.

"Wikipedia is an important service, a public good -- and so we want people
to be able to access it for free, regardless of what device they're using,"
said Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation. "This
partnership with Orange will enable millions of people to read Wikipedia,
who previously couldn't. We're thrilled to be Orange's partner in this
important endeavour."

Marc Rennard, Group Executive Vice President, Africa, Middle-East and Asia
at Orange, commented, “In countries where access to information is not
always readily available, we are making it simple and easy for our
customers to use the world’s most comprehensive online encyclopaedia. It is
the first partnership of this kind in the world where we are enabling
customers to access Wikipedia without incurring any data charges; and shows
Orange’s ability, once again, to innovate in Africa and the Middle East,
and bring more value to our customers.”

Stephanie Hospital, Executive Vice President, Orange Audience & Advertising
division, commented, "Since we first partnered with the Wikimedia
Foundation two years ago, we have remained committed to helping them spread
knowledge to as many people in the world as possible. We're proud to once
again be the Wikimedia Foundation's first partner in Africa and the Middle

About Orange

France Telecom-Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications
operators with 170,000 employees worldwide, including 102,000 employees in
France, and sales of 33.8 billion euros in the first nine months of 2011.
Present in 35 countries, the Group had a customer base of 221 million
customers at 30 September 2011, including 145 million customers under the
Orange brand, the Group's single brand for internet, television and mobile
services in the majority of countries where the company operates. At 30
September 2011, the Group had 162 million mobile customers and 14 million
broadband internet (ADSL, fibre) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the
main European operators for mobile and broadband Internet services and,
under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in
providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.

Conquests 2015 is Orange’s new corporate initiative to simultaneously
addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the
society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action
plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human
resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure
upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group's
ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to
improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international

France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and
on the New York Stock Exchange. For more information (on the Internet and
on your mobile):,, Orange and any other Orange product or
service names included in this material are trade marks of Orange Brand
Services Limited, Orange France or France Telecom.

About the Wikimedia Foundation

The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix,
Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation
receive more than 457 million unique visitors per month, making them the
fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, December 2011).
Available in 282 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20 million
articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000
people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an
audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and

Press Contacts:


US/UK – Vanessa Clarke / Jeff Sharpe

+44 7891 056 593 / +44 7887 620 901 /

France – Héloïse Rothenbühler

+33 1 44 44 93 93

Wikimedia Foundation

Jay Walsh

Head of Communications

Wikimedia Foundation

+1 415-839-6885, ext 6609

Jay Walsh
Head of Communications
+1 (415) 839 6885 x 6609, @jansonw
Please note: all replies sent to this mailing list will be immediately directed 
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