Millicom’s partnership with Facebook extended with pioneering service in East Africa
Stockholm, 24 April, 2014 – Millicom (Stockholmsbörsen: MIC), the international telecommunications and media company, today announced that its Tigo customers in Tanzania will be the first people in East Africa to enjoy free access to Facebook on their mobile handsets.
Having launched a groundbreaking free service in Latin America in December 2013, Millicom and Facebook have now extended their partnership with the launch today of East Africa’s first-ever free service for mobile customers using Facebook applications and mobile website.
The partnership means Tigo customers can now access Facebook and its mobile messaging application Messenger through their handsets without incurring any data charges and allowing them to connect with more than 1.2 billion people worldwide. Tigo has six million customers in Tanzania.
The time-limited free service also includes the launch of a Facebook service in Kiswahilií, the language spoken by millions of people across East and Southern Africa.
The strategic partnership is part of Facebook’s efforts to make internet access available to the two-thirds of the world not yet connected. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, highlighted the partnership with Tigo Paraguay at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, “we’ve been working with Tigo and they’ve seen the number of people who were using data in the internet grow by 50% over the course of the partnership and the number of people who are using data on a daily basis is growing even more.”
Commenting on the new service, Millicom’s President and CEO, Hans-Holger Albrecht, said “Facebook has been a real driver of data on mobile networks. By extending this unique partnership to Africa, we are giving people another reason to connect through Tigo and providing many customers with their first taste of the internet and social media, including in Kiswahili. This reinforces our strategy to encourage more customers to use data as part of their daily communications activity and takes further the digital lifestyle.”
Chris Daniels, Internet.org’s Vice President of Product commented, “We’re excited to be working with Tigo again to bring more people online, giving them exposure to the many benefits of connectivity. We think that widespread access to free basic services will help accelerate the adoption of the internet and we’re committed to working with partners like Tigo on new models that grow subscribers and revenue.”
Millicom is a leading international telecommunications and media company dedicated to emerging markets in Latin America and Africa. Millicom sets the pace when it comes to providing digital lifestyle services to the world’s emerging markets, giving access to the world, primarily through mobile devices. Operating in 15 countries, Millicom offers innovative and customer-centric products. Millicom employs more than 10,000 people and provides mobile, cable, broadband, TV content, online and financial services to over 50 million customers. Founded in 1990, Millicom is headquartered in Luxembourg and listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm under the symbol MIC. In 2013 Millicom generated revenue of $5.16 billion and EBITDA of $1.9 billion.