Facebook and Airtel launch Free Basics in Nigeria

8549926027 d2945bb3e6 kThe partnership will allow Nigerian Airtel users to access Free Basics services offered by Facebook. (Simon Berry/Flickr)Facebook has entered a partnership with Airtel Africa to launch Free Basics in Nigeria

Free Basics is an initiative rolled out by Facebook to provide basic Internet services in 40 countries across the world where Internet access may be less affordable. The service provides free access to a number of platforms where users can gain information about news, health, education, employment and local content services, stated Facebook.  

According to the social media giant, as part of Facebook's plan to bring the service to 17 countries in Africa, the new partnership will allow Nigerians with an Airtel mobile connection to access the services. This will be made readily available through Free Basics without incurring extra costs.

More than 85 free services dedicated to health, education, jobs, and finance are on offer. Airtel Africa will also offer Facebook Flex, a version of Facebook that can be accessed without incurring data charges, stated Facebook.

Airtel Africa MD and CEO Christian de Faria said, “We’re pleased to take this big step forward in our partnership with Facebook, bringing more people online in Africa’s most populous country and helping to further narrow the digital divide. This builds on our vision of using our widespread 3G network to help improve lives and communities by empowering them with access to digital content and services.”

Since 2014, Airtel Africa has worked with Facebook in launching Free Basics in Zambia, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, Seychelles and Rwanda. According to the company, the launch of Free Basics in Nigeria will give millions more people access to basic Internet services.

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