Feeds

Facebook SIM brings social network to dumb phones

South America ahoy

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Personal Argentina is the first operator to deploy a Facebook-enabled SIM, bringing the social network to any GSM handsets, and into hitherto unexploited markets.

Getting Facebook working on a SIM means using the SIM Toolkit commands, which limits interaction to a cascade of text menus, but it does mean that any GSM handset can now access Facebook. Handsets don't even need an internet connection, as the company's video demonstrates.

Gemalto showed the technology back in February, but didn't have any customers back then. Network operators have complete control over the SIM, so it had to be a network operator – and one in a market where smartphones don't dominate within the socially networked demographic.

Which is where Personal Argentina comes in. South America has always been a difficult market for Facebook, with Fotolog and Sonico taking a lot of the traffic – though Facebook has been making inroads recently – so there should be a ready market of users who want access to their social network of choice, but don't want to spend money on the latest smartphones.

Gemalto's SIM-based approach uses Class 2 SMS for connectivity (SMS messages sent and received by the SIM without user interaction), so the user pays a monthly subscription and gets unlimited use of Facebook, while the operator gets to sell a value-added service without having to spend money on handset subsidies.

But most importantly, Gemalto gets to sell more SIMs, in a market which has rapidly commoditised and sees manufacturers scrabbling around to differentiate their offerings from those of their competitors. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.