June 16, 2016 / 12:39 AM / in a year

Mexican telecoms tycoon Slim seeking second-hand phones

Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim walks after he launched a free online platform for education with free access to mobile WiFi connections to the Internet on his Infinitum service during a news conference at Soumaya museum in Mexico City, Mexico, June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican billionaire telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim launched a program on Wednesday to collect used smartphones and donate them to schools, in order to provide students free access to educational materials.

Slim, who controls telecoms giant America Movil, said at an event the firm would offer free wireless broadband access to whoever accessed contents on its website Aprende.org, whose offerings range from elementary math to university courses.

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 and U.S.-based AT&T, followed his lead in offering free access to educational materials.

Reporting by Tomas Sarmiento; Writing by Anna Yukhananov; Editing by Peter Cooney

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