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March 3, 2015

Zuckerberg seeks to placate angry telcos

Facebook pushing operators to subsidise free internet usage.

By CBR Staff Writer

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is mending fences with telecoms carriers after facing criticism for his company’s services such as Whatsapp harm their business.

After facing criticism from telecom giants for challenging traditional phone calls and texts with its services, Zuckerberg commended the telecoms giants at MWC as "the folks who are here leading the charge to bring the Internet to the world."

Zuckerburg also highlighted his interest towards working with telcos to make sure that services like WhatsApp do not pose threat to mobile operators.

The Facebook founder also appreciated the efforts of carriers who are investing in technologies that provide network access across the world.

The social media giant’s Internet.org programme is trying to provide internet to nearly two-thirds of the world’s population. The company also teamed up with local telcos in Africa and Asia for the programme.

The non-profit programme is trying to pursue operators to subsidise free internet usage.

However, telecom and cable firms have accused Facebook and Google of trying to freeload on the investments they have made towards fixed-line and mobile networks by introducing Web services that challenge the traditional services.

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Zuckerberg added: "We have things like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp. That’s not part of Internet.org, because that would be too cannibalistic."

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