Vodacom Lesotho announced its partnership with Facebook to launch Facebook Flex, a connectivity service that the companies claim will enable "hundreds of thousands of Basotho" to follow news and stay connected, free of charge.
According to a statement Facebook Flex will allow Vodacom Lesotho customers to switch seamlessly between free and data modes, making it possible for them to chat, post, comment, like or share content for free with their loved ones.
The mobile network operator hopes the alliance will facilitate more people accessing Facebook and becoming "first-time users of the internet."
The move comes at a time where telecoms and technology companies around the world are working to find new and affordable ways to keep populations connected online.
Vodacom Lesotho's Managing Director, Philip Amoateng said, "We at Vodacom are extremely passionate about giving Basotho the best possible tools for them to lead successful and fulfilling lives, using our network and the tools we can provide, to make their lives easier. This partnership is one of the many ways in which we hope to achieve that. In the face of blinding unemployment rates, hundreds of thousands of Basotho have found ways to build thriving businesses that use the power of Facebook. Thousands more have developed and built meaningful relationships in Lesotho and outside to further enrich their lives. We are excited about the prospect that this partnership will allow us to reach even further down the economic chain and encourage more Basotho to get onto the Facebook platform, and more importantly to become first-time users of the internet."
Kojo Boakye, Head Connectivity & Access for Africa said "We are excited to be announcing this partnership with Vodacom Lesotho. This is an important step forward in Facebook's mission to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together."
In August 2018 Vodacom Group said it created "Africa's first standards-based, commercial 5G service in Lesotho", using its assigned 3.5GHz spectrum to initially deliver Fixed-Wireless Access broadband services to two local enterprises.
According to the operator, Vodacom subscribers in Lesotho can now leverage quicker deployment of broadband services "with fibre-like speeds".
Vodacom believes by providing early access to this technology, businesses and government can work with the company to develop, nurture and apply innovation to power digital transformation in the Southern African country.