Airtel provides Facebook to handsets without GPRS

 Airtel is providing a new system of accessing Facebook for handsets without GPRS. It is a completely SMS based system. Bharti Airtel partnered with Singapore-based software applications developer U2opia Mobile to launch an application for mobile phones that will allow users to access Facebook on all kind of handsets without paying data connectivity charges. Airtel customers can update their Facebook status through this USSD service free of cost whereas Re 1 per day will be applicable for accessing the full-feature application. Airtel users can dial *325# and *fbk# for non-qwerty mobile handsets to access the app.
  U2opia is using Unstructured Supplementary Data (USSD) technology which is used by telecom players to send alerts to their users informing them about their balance at the end of call or for sending miss call alerts. "It is like SMS and hence, the load on the network is negligible. We have built some commands through which a user can receive alerts on activity happening on his wall as well post an update,” Sumesh Menon, co-founder and CEO, U2Opia Mobile has said.

"In the Indian market scenario, where the penetration of smart phones is relatively low and the use of internet on mobiles is primarily limited to key cities, many users are excluded from accessing their Facebook accounts via mobile phones. We look forward to bringing millions of Facebook users in India closer to their love for social networking by allowing them to access it anytime, anywhere on their Airtel-powered mobile phones," Joshi, director, marketing, mobile services, Airtel has said.
At Facebook, we are always exploring ways to enable people to easily connect and share with friends on Facebook wherever they are, whenever they want. This innovative USSD-based Facebook access service that will be offered by Airtel is another affordable and easy way for people to stay connected with their friends and family through Facebook," Henri Moissinac, head, Mobile Business, Facebook had said.