State-run BSNL has launched a service which would allow the company's mobile customers to access Facebook without any internet or data connectivity, PTI reported. Users would be charged Rs4, Rs10 and Rs20 for plans valid for three days, one week and one month, respectively.
The public sector telecom firm has tied up with U2opia Mobile for providing Facebook access through Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) in East and South zones immediately, before being extended to west and north zones.
According to BSNL, with Facebook access through USSD, users can access their accounts, view/post status messages, respond to friends' requests, write on friends' walls, view birthday reminders and send messages without any internet or data connection.
PTI quoted BSNL director Anupam Shrivastava as saying companies today were looking at enhancing the portfolio of offerings to voice and SMS customers and the company was excited to offer Facebook on USSD, given the rising popularity of social media.
The service would work on all kinds of handsets and according to U2opoia Mobile CEO Sumesh Menon, the services were perfect for the company's always-connected customers who wanted to stay in touch with their Facebook friends anytime, anywhere, on any mobile.
The service runs on Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) technology, which is typically used by operators to send alerts to users. BSNL has tied up with U2opia Mobile to provide Facebook connectivity to users in east and south zones at first, shortly after which the service will be rolled out for users in west and north zones.
Users will be able to access their accounts, view and post status messages, respond to friend requests, write on friends' walls, view birthday reminders and send messages, all the typical functionality Facebook provides users. Moreover, the service would work on all kinds of handsets, though it was not clear whether they would have to support Facebook's mobile app or would be able to access the service through the phone's browser, techtree.com reported.
The move comes at a time when Facebook was tying up with telecom operators to provide access to the social network through subsidised data packs.
Now using the technology, users in regions without internet connectivity can also access Facebook.