The Inquirer Group And FireChat Partner To Connect Mobile Users In The Philippines Without Internet Access

Friday, May 1, 2015

Open Garden and The Inquirer Group announced today a new partnership to serve mobile users on FireChat, the free mobile app, created by Open Garden, that works off-the grid without access to the Internet or cellular networks. The Philippine Daily Inquirer was established in 1985 and is the country's most circulated and respected broadsheet.  

In one of the world's most dynamic mobile and social media markets, FireChat will enable the Inquirer to serve real time news on topics including sports, celebrities, and politics. 

With FireChat, Inquirer will reach its readers with unprecedented immediacy and interactivity, directly on their mobile. FireChat's enables topic-centric conversations between as many as tens of thousands of people simultaneously.

FireChat and The Inquirer Group will explore other opportunities for collaboration, including 'off-the-grid' messaging for commuters on the MRT or Metro Rail Transit, part of Manila's public transport network. 

The Inquirer Group serves MRT's users in print with the free bilingual paper Inquirer Libre.Other uses of FireChat for the Inquirer will include the group's branded job fairs, where as many as 300,000 candidates look for practical information and updated listings.

When used online, FireChat will allow The Inquirer to continue reaching the large Filipino community globally as it has done successfully for years, with even more immediacy, through its online news site,

"We see great potential for FireChat in the Philippines and are thrilled to explore this potential with The Inquirer Group, one of the largest and most respected media groups in the country. FireChat allows mobile users in high-density, under-served urban markets to communicate without relying on centralised networks, which is our mission globally," said Micha Benoliel, CEO and cofounder of Open Garden.

"We are excited about working with Open Garden, the pioneer in peer-to-peer mesh networks, and giving Inquirer Group readers another way to experience our real-time, interactive news on their mobile phone. We look forward to meaningful, real-time conversations between our editorial teams and our readers in the Philippines and globally," said JV Rufino, the Inquirer's Director for Mobile.

The new FireChat is available for free in the App Store and Google Play. You can visit this chatroom for a live discussion about the upcoming Manny Pacquiao - Floyd Mayweather Jr. boxing mega-event
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