dtac and Facebook launch Free Basics in Thailand, giving Happy customers free access to internet services

Information Technology Press Releases Monday November 30, 2015 15:38
กรุงเทพฯ--30 พ.ย.--dtac

dtac Happy and Facebook have launched Free Basics to provide free access to a wide range of global and local internet services, such as news and information, for Happy prepaid subscribers who have rarely used or never used mobile internet before.

Currently, dtac has 25 million subscriber and around 14 million subscribers or 56% have rarely used or never use the Internet before. dtac is aiming to connect its 11 million non-data subscribers to the Internet for the first time through the Free Basics service. dtac Net Arsa (Internet Volunteers) are the key driving force to help introduce the Internet to people around the country.

Sigvart Voss Eriksen, Chief Marketing Officer, Total Access Communication PLC or dtac said, "We have learned from the Net Arsa project that the main reasons people, especially the elderly, do not use the Internet are: 1) They do not see the value of the Internet and how it can improve their lives. 2) They are not familiar with how data charges work and afraid of high charges. 3) They think they are too old to learn something new or feel reluctant to ask their kids to teach them. 4) They have an impression that to use the Internet, they will need to have expensive smartphones. To address these challenges, dtac Happy has partnered with Facebook to launch Free Basics to provide Happy subscribers with free and secure access to basic services online using feature phones and smartphones. dtac Net Arsa team will continue to play a key role in driving this initiative by providing training and support to subscribers starting to use the Internet."

Through the collaboration between dtac and Facebook, and with the open Free Basics platform, people have an opportunity to access a range of basic services. Free Services by Happy and Facebook includes content and services suitable for all segments, including but not limited to:

1) For elementary and secondary school students, such as Dek-D, Wikipedia, WikiHow, Sanook, and Translator 2) For workers and agricultural workers, such as Thairath, Pantip, and JobThai.com 3) For seniors, such as DoctorMe, Haamor, BabyCenter, and Mama 4) General content for everyone, such as AccuWeather, Facebook Free Data, Bing, Facebook Messenger, UNICEF, Fact For Life, and Wattpad.

"We believe Free Basics is a key tool to help us achieve our Internet for All mission, which aims to bring more Thai people online across the country. We target that 80% of Thai population will be connected by 2017. Our partnership with Facebook will help us achieve the target even faster. Free Basics by Facebook is a platform that provides people all over the world with free access a wide range of services developed by local and global partners. Facebook is an important communication platform for internet users around the world."

Today, dtac Happy and Facebook celebrated the launch of Free Basics and joined the dtac Net Arsa team to introduce the Free Basics service to the Paked Nomklao community in Prapadaeng, Samutprakan. The community consists of old and retired people who are keen to learn about the Internet and students in elementary and lower secondary schools. The activity encourages people who have little or no experience with mobile Internet to start using it, which gives them an opportunity to access news and enjoy online content suitable for their daily lives, leading to different ways of using data services.

To enjoy Free Basics services, follow these 4 easy steps:
1) Dial *669#, free of charge
2) Click on the link in the SMS received
3) Your browser will open www.freebasics.com, then press Continue
4) Start using Free Basics services by Facebook (free data charges). Use free Facebook athttp://free.facebook.com

Anna Nygren, Head of Growth Partnerships, APAC, Facebook, said, "The internet is a powerful enabler for social and economic progress, and Free Basics will help bring more Thais online. By bringing people essential internet services like jobs, health and education, Free Basics gives them the power to improve their lives. Also, we've seen that Free Basics brings new users onto mobile networks, on average, over 50% faster, and more than half of the people who come online through Free Basics are paying for data and accessing the internet within the first 30 days of use. We are excited to partner with dtac to help bring more Thais into the knowledge economy."

Free Basics is available to more than 1 billion people in more than 30 countries worldwide. dtac hopes this partnership with Facebook will act as a catalyst to drive dtac's key mission of helping Thai people improve their lives through the Internet.

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