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Digital Inclusion

Podcast The Divide: Upstream's Kostas Kastanis on offering 'free' Internet in Africa


On this episode of The Divide, we hear from Kostas Kastanis, deputy CEO of Upstream a mobile technology company that works with providers to offer affordable and secure access to Internet services, primarily in emerging markets.

Our conversation focuses on Upstream's work in Africa, where its service Zero-D offers free Internet access through an ad-supported model. Kastanis says this works especially well in countries like Nigeria where 1 gig of data costs more than an average day's pay.

Currently, 115 million of Upstream's Zero-D subscribers are in Africa, with the service active in Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tunisia and South Africa. We discuss how Zero-D works for users and providers, and other ways to solve the unique challenges to delivering and accessing the Internet in Africa.

Nicole Ferraro, contributing editor and host of "The Divide" and "What's the Story?" Light Reading

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