Anil Ambani group’s Reliance Communications, one of India’s biggest telecom operators, has joined the list of operators who will offer free or cheap unlimited data access to those who use Facebook services on mobile.
While many others like Aircel offer free or unlimited access to Facebook on mobile, Reliance Communications has decided to offer unlimited “Facebook messenger” use on its GSM network at Rs 16 per month. Users have to download the application from fb.me/msgr. However, it should be clarified that the usage is likely to be only for Facebook messenger, which is a chat service operated by Facebook.
Plans from some other operators apply to all usage, including photos and posts.
“Facebook Messenger Plan offers unlimited access of Facebook to all prepaid Reliance GSM customers in the country for just Rs.16 per month without paying any extra data consumption charges,” RCom said.
The Facebook Messenger feature app works on a cross platform of smart and feature phones, and allows users to, at a glance, be able to reach anyone regardless of what device they are using. It also recently launched a new version of Messenger service where users need only their name and phone number to sign up for a new account, so they can send messages to their phone contacts instantly.
According to the terms, usage is free only through the messenger application, and not necessarily when using Facebook website on the mobile browser. “The plans with Reliance will allow its GSM customers to use this new app at no extra cost,” the operator said.
Many operators also offer subsidized or free or unlimited use of Twitter on mobile. Most operators have free ‘forwarding service’ for twitter messages, in which subscribers can get twitter messages delivered to their mobiles for free in the form of SMSes.
Google also tied up recently with a number of operators to provide free SMS services from its Gmail application. However, many users have complained that the service doesn’t work with many of their contacts.
In addition, many companies offers “unlimited Blackberry messaging” services as well, under which users can send unlimited Blackberry messages in return for paying a fixed monthly fee. The Facebook messaging services is likely to target the younger crowd who are always on the social network. Facebook has messenger applications for Windows as well.
The plan can be activated by sending an SMS “FB” to 53739. The plan is a ‘fixed’ plan, or, in other words, it is auto-renewed every month. The service is not available for the CDMA subscribers.