- February 17th, 2012
- Carly Page
Orange has announced plans to bring Facebook to 2G mobile phones in Africa, which could potentially help 70,000 people to keep in touch with friends and family.
Using unstructured supplementary service data (USSD) technology, Orange – which operates in over 20 countries across Africa – will bring a scaled-down version of the social network to 2G handsets.
To access the service, users don’t even need to have a data plan in place. Users simply type a specific code to start sessions, followed by a unique PIN code to access the service securely. One this is done, Facebook users in Africa will be able to search for friends, invite friends, accept or deny friend requests, update their status and comment on or like status updates from their chums.
Orange VP of Strategic Partnerships Xavier Perret said: “Social networks such as Facebook have completely changed how people stay in contact with their family and friends, and it’s important that our customers, regardless of the phone they have, are able to access and participate in these services.
“We feel that it is our role to help our customers enjoy a digitally rich, connected life, and services such as Facebook via USSD make that possible for even more of our customers.”
The service, which has already been rolled-out in Egypt, will be offered on four pricing options: per session (10 to 20 minutes), daily, weekly, and monthly. The service is expected to launch first in Ivory Coast, with other regions to be added during the year.