On Monday, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced his vision for the future. In a highly anticipated keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Zuckerberg revealed his plans to provide internet access to the 5 billion people in the world currently without access.
Zuckerberg spoke of partnering with major mobile companies in order to provide internet access to those people in the developing world currently without it. He revealed that his plan was to create “a dial tone for the internet” that would act as an emergency number for people in the developing world. This dial tone would allow people in developing regions to have access to basic services such as messaging and weather forecasts.
“What we want to create is like a dial tone for the internet – like a universal emergency number – basic services that we think everyone should have including messaging, weather, search provided for free with the ability to upgrade to use higher bandwidth services,” he told MWC.
“We don’t have all the answers, but the early indications are promising. We’re looking for a some more partners to see if it works in other places. What we want to do next is a year long trial, to see how far we can push this and show the model works. Internet.org is an on-ramp for the internet.”
During the keynote speech, Zuckerberg also spoke of his delight at Facebook’s recent purchase of the largely popular Whatsapp company for a whopping price of $19 billion. Zuckerberg was clearly thrilled with the acquisition of Whatsapp and believes that both Facebook and Whatsapp share a common goal; to connect the world.
“WhatsApp is the most engaging app we’ve ever seen on mobile, it blows everything else away, but it’s Jan Koum’s vision, to connect billions of people. That’s what made WhatsApp a good fit,” Zuckerberg told Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“By being part of Facebook, WhatsApp can focus on adding more users, not having to focus on revenue, so he can go on and connect a billion more people.”