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Wikipedia expects to offer SMS-based access within months

Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 23, 2013
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Wikipedia has long been pushing for access to its communal knowledge among those who can't afford the latest technology, going so far as to strike deals with carriers to deliver free mobile web viewing. It's set to expand that reach to those for whom any advanced cellphone is out of the question. In part through the help of a Knight News Challenge grant and South Africa's Praekelt Foundation, the non-profit's Wikipedia Zero effort will offer its content through SMS and USSD messages in the next few months. Curious users will just have to send a text message to get an article in response, with no web required at all. It's a big step forward for democratizing online information for those who may not even have access to a smartphone, although we're curious as to how it will handle large articles; we can only imagine the volume of messages when trying to look up the known universe.

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