Technology leaders launch partnership to make internet access available to all

Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung to be founding partners
MENLO PARK, CA, — Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, today announced the launch of, a global partnership with the goal of making internet access available to the next 5 billion
“Everything Facebook has done has been about giving all people around the world the power to
connect,” Zuckerberg said. “There are huge barriers in developing countries to connecting and joining
the knowledge economy. brings together a global partnership that will work to overcome
these challenges, including making internet access available to those who cannot currently afford it.”
Today, only 2.7 billion people – just over one-third of the world’s population — have access to the
internet. Internet adoption is growing by less than 9% each year, which is slow considering how early we
are in its development.
The goal of is to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world who are not
yet connected, and to bring the same opportunities to everyone that the connected third of the world
has today.
The founding members of — Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm and
Samsung — will develop joint projects, share knowledge, and mobilize industry and governments to
bring the world online. These founding companies have a long history of working closely with mobile
operators and expect them to play leading roles within the initiative, which over time will also include
NGOs, academics and experts as well. is influenced by the successful Open Compute
Project, an industry-wide initiative that has lowered the costs of cloud computing by making hardware
designs more efficient and innovative.
In order to achieve its goal of connecting the two-thirds of the world who are not yet online, will focus on three key challengesin developing countries:
Making access affordable: Partners will collaborate to develop and adopt technologies that make
mobile connectivity more affordable and decrease the cost of delivering data to people worldwide.
Potential projects include collaborations to develop lower-cost, higher-quality smartphones and
partnerships to more broadly deploy internet access in underserved communities. Mobile operators will
play a central role in this effort by driving initiatives that benefit the entire ecosystem.
Using data more efficiently: Partners will invest in tools that dramatically reduce the amount of data
required to use most apps and internet experiences. Potential projects include developing data
compression tools, enhancing network capabilities to more efficiently handle data, building systems to
cache data efficiently and creating frameworks for apps to reduce data usage.
Helping businesses drive access: Partners will support development of sustainable new business models
and services that make it easier for people to access the internet. This includes testing new models that
align incentives for mobile operators, devicemanufacturers, developers and other businesses to provide
more affordable access than has previously been possible.Other efforts will focus on localizing services – working with operating system providers and other partners to enable more languages on mobile
By reducing the cost and amount of data required for most apps and enabling new business models, is focused on enabling the next 5 billion people to come online.
Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, Samsung and other partners will build on
existing partnerships while exploring new ways to collaborate to solve these problems.
“For more than 100 years, Ericsson has been enabling communications for all and today more than 6
billion people in the world have access to mobile communications,” said Hans Vestberg, President and
CEO of Ericsson. “We are committed to shaping the Networked Society – where everyone and
everything will be connected in real time; creating the freedom, empowerment and opportunity to
transform society. We believe affordable connectivity and internet access improves people’s lives and
helps build a more sustainable planet and therefore we are excited to participate in the
“As a world leader in mobile solutions for emerging markets having powered more than 300 million
smart devices within 2 years, MediaTek whole heartedly supports the initiative.” said MK
Tsai, Chairman of MediaTek. “Global Internet and social media access represent the biggest shift since
the industrial revolution, and we want to make it all-inclusive.”
“Nokia is deeply passionate about connecting people – to one another and the world around them,” said
Nokia President and CEO Stephen Elop. “Over the years, Nokia has connected well over a billion people.
Our industry is now at an exciting inflection point where Internet connectivity is becoming more
affordable and efficient for consumers while still offering them great experiences. Universal internet
access will be the next great industrial revolution.”
“Today, more than 300 million people use Opera every month to access the Internet. Tomorrow, we
have a chance to serve the next 5 billion people connecting on mobile devices in developing countries.
It’s in Opera’s DNA to save people time, money and data, and through we think we can help
advance these goals.” — Lars Boilesen, CEO Opera Software.
“Mobile has helped to transform many people’s lives in the emerging regions where often a computing
device will be the first and only mobile experience they’ll ever have” said Paul Jacobs, chairman of the
board and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. “Having shipped more than 11 billion chips, Qualcomm is a
market leader that is committed to the goal of bridging the digital divide. We’re pleased to be a part of and to be working with key ecosystem players to drive this initiative forward.”
“This new initiative has big potential to help accelerate access to the Internet for everyone,” said JK
Shin, CEO and President of the IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics. “We’re
focused on delivering high quality mobile devices to ensure that the next five billion people have great
mobile Internet experiences.”
The website launches today and provides an overview of the mission and goals, as well as a
full list of the partners. In the coming weeks, it will feature interviews with technology leaders and
experts, along with the latest news on activities.