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How Billionaire Carlos Slim Is Helping Schoolchildren in Mexico

Luminaries Gather For Clinton Global Initiative Annual MeetingLuminaries Gather For Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting
Carlos Slim is worth some $72.9 billion according to Forbes. Photograph by Chris Hondros Getty Images

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, 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 (T), followed his lead in offering free access to educational materials.