Press Release: May 13, 2020
(CDMX, Mexico) – Internet connectivity as a fundamental right has been a topic for discussion for many years in Mexico. More recently, topics like internet neutrality and digital security have become relevant, and the Covid-19 crisis has further disrupted sectors that were taking their time to adapt to new digital realities such as mobile payments, eCommerce, blockchain, digital banking, eHealth, delivery platforms, remote work, insurtech, big data, eLearning and chatbots, to name just a few.
Progress towards all of the SDGs is being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and even before this outbreak, UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated in the “Fast Forward Progress” report that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the great potential of global connectivity to spur human progress and that it challenges us to ensure universal and affordable internet access for all.
OXIO is operating the #Oxigeno2030 wireless service (including SIM cards and plans) at cost in an unprecedented effort to bridge the digital divide that exists among smartphone users who can’t afford enough data to rely on their device as a tool that empowers them, and not merely entertains them.
“We want to connect 1 million users for free or close to free, by the end of March 2021” said Nicolas Girard Ph.D., CEO, and co-founder of OXIO. “It is an ambitious goal and we need strategic partners, sponsors, and distributors to make help support the cost and distribution to these users, as they adjust their lives to the pandemic ravaging Mexico.”
By offering free data plans and a platform that provides premium content and specific activities related to 10 of the 17 SDGs, the initiative seeks to not only provide financial support to those that need it most during this crisis but also shift their behaviors and views on the use of mobile data to help their communities to build resilience and navigate towards a better future.
“Financial resilience and community are two of Zenda.la’s building blocks, and we are using those to build upon the #Oxigeno2030 effort, focusing in particular on key issues like financial, physical and mental health, human rights, gender violence, employment, and economic growth,” commented Diego Muradás, CEO and co-founder of Zenda.la.
Mexico’s challenges for 2021 include not only the aftermath of the health crisis brought on by Covid-19, but also the sudden drop in oil prices, the devaluation of the Mexican Peso against the US Dollar, and a large-scale recession that will push millions into abject poverty.
“We have to push for access to the internet as a basic human right and for data to be considered as important as food and transportation in times of a crisis such as the one we are facing now,'' said Eva Sander, Country Director for Accountability Lab in Mexico.
“Information overload and polarized conversations affect people’s trust in institutions and even themselves, so finding the right narrative and the best communication channels is key to an accountable recovery process,” she added.
Both Zenda.la and OXIO are launching their startups amidst the Covid-19 crisis after successfully raising venture capital to start operations in Mexico, while Accountability Lab Mexico has been working tirelessly to fight corruption and a lack of trust since before the pandemic started, particularly through Integrity Icon - a campaign to “name and fame” honest government officials.
OXIO helps mobile subscribers around the world pay less for data and stay connected so that they can actively participate in the global digital economy. The OXIO solution builds a virtualized multi-carrier network that is white-labeled to Enterprises, to let them easily bundle wireless into their existing products; allowing them to fully take advantage of their newfound status as wireless operators, from controlling the user experience to getting intelligence from user usage to empowering their business KPIs. OXIO's BrandVNO™ platform is a fully managed, cloud-based solution that was architected from the ground up for multi-network and multi-operator virtualization. With BrandVNO™, traditional or non-traditional mobile providers can simultaneously leverage multiple national carriers, operationalizing new, branded customer experiences at their pace, with minimal additional cost. www.oxio.com
Zenda.la protects your health and wellbeing by forging close connections through the conscious use of data and technologies to design financial products and mobile services that foster resilience and build a better world. Their first product - a freemium health insurance model- seeks to bridge the gap for those who still don’t have access to health services in a country where less than 6% of the population is insured and around 80% of people depend on the public health system. www.zenda.la
About Accountability Lab Mexico
Accountability Lab Mexico makes governance work for people across the country by supporting active citizens, responsible leaders, and accountable institutions. The Lab runs creative, participatory, and positive campaigns; designs integrity training and workshops; and works with communities to improve inclusion and service delivery. www.accountabilitylab.org