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Facebook joins COAI as associate member

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NEW DELHI: The leading mobile communications association in India, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), has announced the induction of Facebook India Online Services as an associate member.

COAI’s associate membership comprises companies that manufacture or support the functioning, promotion, research development and evolution of mobile communications services. The induction of the Mark Zuckerberg-led company in COAI will help it in getting a bigger platform to interact with the leading mobile operators.

Facebook, public policy director – India and south Asia Ankhi Das said, “Over 85 per cent of the world’s population lives in areas with existing cellular coverage, yet only about 30 per cent of the total population accesses the internet. Affordability and awareness are significant barriers to internet adoption. Facebook believes that overcoming these barriers and connecting people has immense value, from empowering people to exercise their rights to freely express themselves, promoting transparency and democratic values and allowing people to access affordable data services in areas such as health care, education and information, which they otherwise cannot afford. Access = opportunity – creating more economic, social and political opportunities for everybody.”

She further added, “Joining COAI as an associate member reflects our focus on mobile technologies, access and our continued desire to work in collaboration with the industry to increase connectivity. We look forward to playing an active role as a member.”

Founded in 2004, the social media giant Facebook aimed to is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected. Facebook has more than 1.32 billion monthly active users globally, including over 100 million monthly active users in India.

COAI’s other associate members include Alcatel Lucent India, Cisco Systems India, Ericsson India, IBM India, GTL Infrastructure, Huawei Technologies, Indus Towers, Intel Corporation, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Qualcomm India  and ZTE India.

Commenting on the induction COAI director general Rajan S Mathews said, “We welcome Facebook India Online Services to the COAI family. Social networking, especially Facebook, has changed the way Indians work, play, communicate, socialise and do business. We believe this will further grow to become a crucial part of and influence the socio-economic culture in the country. We feel that Facebook’s active participation in COAI activities will result in mutual value addition and bring the much needed synergy of functioning between the service providers and the content/VAS players.”

Having started as an association for mobile service providers, COAI, today, has members including cellular service providers, telecom infrastructure companies, and telecom equipment manufacturers; and still expanding to include other allied and critical stakeholders of the sector.

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