Contxto – Facebook chose Peru as its testing ground for its latest app, Discover. As a result, Peruvian users are trying out a product that lets them surf the internet even if they themselves have no data on their phone. This will basically be possible through an additional dose of 10MB of free data every day, courtesy of Discover.
Facebook to discover how its app works
This test isn’t a one-man job.
To up the data allowance, it partnered with mobile operators Entel, Bitel, Movistar, and Claro. Correspondingly, these companies agreed to offer users an additional amount of data on a daily basis. They are free to choose just how many additional megas they’ll provide.
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The app does have its limitations though. Discover can only support low bandwidth traffic. In other words, no Netflix streaming or YouTube viewing through it. Moreover, websites are displayed in text format, so as to eat up the least amount of data as possible.
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But that’s okay, it’s an attempt at reducing the ever-growing digital divide. Likewise, this type of solution is needed now more than ever due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. People everywhere need to stay connected and informed on official updates.
Discover is part of Facebook’s often criticized Free Basics Initiative. Though apparently well-intentioned, the initiative has been accused of violating net neutrality in other parts of the globe.
Peru: a prime place for testing?
It’s not the first time a project of this nature is tested in Peru. In late 2019, Loon, a company belonging to Alphabet—Google’s parent company—launched internet balloons to provide connectivity in the country’s rural areas.
And in light of these developments clearly the social media giant also found the right characteristics in this country to launch its app. Moreover, Facebook and friends plan to launch Discover into other developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
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