Internet.org is now available in Malawi thanks to the organization’s partnership with mobile network operators Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) and Airtel Malawi.
Malawi becomes the fifth African country where Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious pet project is launching after the service became available in Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana and Zambia. Globally, the service is available in Guatemala, Colombia, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines and Indonesia making the total number of countries where people can access affordable internet thanks to Facebook’s efforts to 11. Panama in Central America is expected to be next in line.
Internet.org’s expansion into Malawi comes barely a week after Facebook moved to court developers by opening up the platform to them so that they could build low bandwidth applications that integrate with it and will be useful to the over 1 billion users Facebook is now able to reach in areas where access to the internet is hampered by lack of network infrastructure and prohibitively high costs. Facebook hopes to overcome the infrastructure challenge by using drones to beam signals from space and cost issues by partnering with mobile network operators like Airtel and others to make it affordable to everyone to access basic applications like Wikipedia.