Gemalto Unveils Facebook For SIM

Gemalto has unveiled Facebook for SIM at Mobile World Congress, enabling anyone to enjoy the service on all handsets, even if without a data connection or data subscription.

“Increasingly people want to be able to stay connected and communicate with their friends on Facebook anytime, anywhere,” says Henri Moissinac, head of mobile business at Facebook. “Gemalto has developed a creative solution in Facebook for SIM that enables people without mobile data plans to stay connected to their friends on Facebook in an affordable way.”

Gemalto’s software development team has embedded the software application into the SIM. This ensures the Facebook app is compatible with all SIM-compliant mobile phones.

The solution provides mobile subscribers with simple and convenient access to core Facebook features such as friend requests, status updates, wall posts or messages. It also offers unique functions: users can sign up for the service and log in directly from the SIM application. Interactive Facebook messages popup on the phone’s screen so people can always share up-to-the-minute posts and events. Users can also automatically search their SIM phonebook for other friends and send them requests.

Facebook for SIM does not require a data contract or app download, since the software is embedded in the SIM and uses SMS technology. As a result, it works for prepaid as well as for pay-monthly customers. Following an initial limited free trial period, Facebook for SIM then operates on a subscription model, via an unlimited pass for a given period of time.

“Facebook for SIM enables operators to leverage two of their main assets: the SMS to communicate with the web app and the SIM for application distribution to the masses,” explains Philippe Vallée, executive vice president at Gemalto. “[According to Ibid], over 200m people already use Facebook on handsets and those are twice as active as non-mobile users (source: Ibid By providing anytime, anywhere availability to the social network, Gemalto delivers on the growing demand for mobile connectivity all over the world.”