Wikipedia Founder Explains Why New Mobile Network TPO is Set to Cause a Stir

In an interview with The Drum at the Mobile World Congress, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales explained why he believes the mobile network called The People's Operator (TPO) will shake up the Telco industry.

Initially on board in an advisory capacity, Wales now serves as full time as executive director of strategy and digital community for TPO. The mobile network launched quietly in 2012 - its business model, the first of its kind in the sector, commits 25% of its profits to charity and also lets customers automatically donate 10%of their phone bill to a cause of their choosing.

TPO is now focusing on attracting customers, since despite a £100m flotation on the London Stock Exchange, it remains a widely unknown brand.

To accomplish this while maintaining viability, their marketing strategy steers clear of costly traditional above the line advertising in favour of a viral approach. A social network similar to Facebook is personally being designed by Wales.

The platform is open to everyone, allowing people to spread the word about the charities they support through TPO, with functionality that facilitates uploading pictures and videos, raising money, chat, and inviting others to join.

Wales hopes that the new mobile network will be as popular as his first famous venture: "Wikipedia was an idea that spread because people liked to talk about it and communities of people can accomplish great things. When you get people together with an idea that matters to them they can go out and do something about it. That's something that the Internet should be about more often."

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