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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Facebook on Basic Phone : Possible@YESS!!!

1.  The penetration of smartphones in the market is rapidly setting new benchmark verticals.Smartphones have changed our basic routine access exercise of switching on laptops or workstations to access our facebook,gmail and other accounts...but somehow this access to facebook and other accounts has been limited to smartphones only...and thus the basic mobile user still has the traditional method of accessing the mails and social networking sites....but thankfully this is not likely to go on for long...
2. One Mr Sumesh Menon, co-founder and CEO of U2opia Mobile,has fine-tuned USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data) technology and is using it to allow anyone with a mobile phone to connect to Facebook. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) is a protocol used by GSM cellular telephones to communicate with the service provider's computers. USSD can be used for WAP browsing, prepaid callback service, mobile-money services, location-based content services, menu-based information services, and as part of configuring the phone on the network. Thus even if a user has a very basic phone and no data connection, he can use USSD to connect to Facebook.

3.  Offcourse the concept of USSD is not new per se as a technology..users have all been using it in some way or the other in routine.For example, when you check your remaining pre-paid balance in the phone using a code, you use the USSD technology.So basically it is a kind of 1G solution that works in a 3G world.For those who wish to know about the 'G' family...please click here to find the 'G' Generation.


-  In India, it is available to almost all mobile phone users, except those who are using network of BSNL.

-  To access Facebook from a basic (or from a smartphone that has no data connection) a user has to first subscribe to the service by dialling *325#.

-  Once the service is active, which happens within a few minutes, users can utilize the USSD menu to go through their timeline, check status updates, post status updates and check likes or comments on their posts. The service also allows access to Facebook Messenger and users can exchange messages with their friends.

-  There is no limit on how many times you can access Facebook or how many messages you can send to your friends on Facebook messenger. While different operators charge different price for the service, usually the price is around Re 1 per day, making it a cost-effective way to keep in touch with friends.

Few interesting points about this :

-  The underlying technology is called FoneTwish.

-  Any operator can use FoneTwish to enable access to Facebook through USSD for its users.

-  Service is used by over 40 operators in 30 countries.

-  Currently, there are over 10 million users across the world who access Facebook through USSD.


-  Facebook will be limited to a text-based service when used through USSD.

-  A user cannot access photographs on his phone through FoneTwish.

-  Offcourse there will be limitations w.r.t the proper web based experience that we see on a smartphone...but still..kudos to the effort and congrats to basic phone users.

4.   Well there may be one good news that as on date such phones will be more secure than smartphones.Too early to say before they get broken  too...lets wait and watch...


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