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Texts from Reuters will bring news to millions without mobile internet

By Freddy Mayhew

Reuters has struck a deal that it says will bring its news content to millions of people worldwide who don’t have access to smartphones or mobile internet.

The agency has partnered with technology firm ONEm Communications to provide the latest news, business, sports and entertainment stories via ordinary text message and voice mail, with no web connection needed.

The SMS service will be available in a variety of languages, including English, Arabic, Russian, German, French, Spanish and Portugese. Audio content will be available in select languages.

Some 30 mobile operators are said to have committed to deploying the ONEm Communications service in the coming months, including Smart Group – which covers Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi.

ONEm Communications has said it is on target to exceed 30m subscribers by the end of the year.

Joachim Harris, Reuters’ head of business development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said, “Our partnership with ONEm Communications will allow us to reach a new audience of millions of people around the world who will be able to consume our unparalleled international news coverage with the speed, impartiality and insight that only Reuters can offer.”

Christopher Richardson, head of ONEm Communications, said, “With our interactive SMS technology mobile operators can now offer a way to search, filter and display content.

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“We are delighted to team up with Reuters to offer the three billion unconnected people up-to-the-minute global news available in nineteen different languages over ordinary SMS”.

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