App Launches in Pakistan

Despite being forced to defend itself against net neutrality complaints in India, launched its application in neighboring Pakistan.

Despite being forced to defend itself against net neutrality complaints in India, launched its application in neighboring Pakistan.

The app launched in Pakistan in partnership with mobile operator Telenor Pakistan, and the carrier’s subscribers will have free access to the following basic services via 2G and 3G, either through the Android app or the website:

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg discussed the launch in a Facebook post:

Before today, only about 15 percent of Pakistan’s 180 million-plus people had access to the Internet. Now, people will be able to access valuable services for free, including resources for health, jobs, local news and communication.

More than 1 billion people around the world now have the ability to use free basic services through, and we’ve seen these bring a lot of value to people in the 11 countries where we’ve launched.

Here’s a photo (above) of Javed, a rickshaw driver, and Ashfaq, a construction worker, who use their phones to help do their jobs.

Facebook director of global operator partnerships Markku Makelainen said in a release announcing the launch:

We are excited to expand our partnership with Telenor Pakistan and provide people with access to free basic services through With, more people in Pakistan will have access to free basic internet tools and information that can create new opportunities and help improve their lives.

Telenor Pakistan CEO Michael Foley added:

We are delighted to introduce the initiative in Pakistan today with a host of useful online services including health, education, finance, news, information and job portals, etc., for our millions of customers nationwide. This will provide them with greater access to relevant local and international content. augments our ambition to bring “Internet for All,” and affordable access to basic online services is yet another testament of our commitment toward empowering the society. We are hopeful that services like this will help enhance Internet penetration in the country.

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InternetOrgPakistan David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.