Five billion people in the world still do not have access to the Internet and Facebook's co-founder and chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, wants to change that. He has launched a global partnership called Internet.org, with a goal of drastically cutting the cost of Internet access on mobile phones, especially in developing countries.
The initiative was announced Wednesday through Facebook's Newsroom website.
The partnership includes other tech giants such as Samsung, Nokia, Qualcomm and Ericsson.
The partners pledge to develop and use technologies to make cheaper, high-quality smartphones with affordable Internet access. Tech giants also plan to support development of new business models and services that will make Internet access easier and less costly.
The new initiative reflects the need of big Internet companies and smartphone manufacturers to open up new markets in poorer countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The coalition says its immediate goal is to cut the cost of mobile Internet services to 1 percent of its current level within 10 years. But they still face the challenge of strengthening infrastructure in remote areas.