Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim poses for a photo with his daughter, Johanna, after speaking about a new educational application during a news conference at the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The application, titled Aprende, is free and is currently used around the world.
Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim poses for a photo with his daughter, Johanna, after speaking about a new educational application during a news conference at the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The application, titled Aprende, is free and is currently used around the world. (AP Photo/Nick Wagner)

Q24N – Mexican billionaire telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim, owner of America Movil (Claro), launched an “aggressive” program on Wednesday to collect used smartphones and donate them to schools, in order to provide students free access to educational materials.

Aprende.org, using the Spanish word for learn, integrates educational materials already offered for a price online by his foundation, Fundación Carlos Slim.

Slim said at an event the platform gives anyone who can connect access to knowledge and training. Data charges will not accrue if they connect via Slim’s Telmex or America Movil.

The businessman said he was looking to create a secondary market for smartphones used for a year or two, “giving them an economic value,” and then passing them on for free to public schools.

The firm plans to offer its clients a 500-peso credit ($26) for each smartphone returned in good condition, Slim said.

He added that he hoped his competitors in Mexico, which include Spain’s Telefonica (Movistar) and U.S.-based AT&T, followed his lead in offering free access to educational materials.

America Movil is the largest mobile phone brand in Latin America. Under the Claro brand it provides wireless service in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguya, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Uruguay.

Telmex , headquartered in Mexico City, provides telecommunications products and services in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Brazil (Embratel), Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and other countries in Latin America. Telmex is still the dominant fixed-line phone carrier in Mexico.

In January 2010, América Móvil made an offer to buy Telmex and Telmex International in order to better compete against Spain’s Telefonica and Malaysia’s Telekom Malaysia.  América Móvil was once the mobile arm of Telmex, but in 2001, América Móvil was split off and grew larger than the former parent company


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