Now, access FB on mobile without internet

USSD technology will enable users to access Facebook without having GPRS connection on their phones.

Updated: May 18, 2011, 00:46 AM IST

New Delhi: Singapore-based software
applications developer U2opia Mobile has developed a new
application for mobile phones that will allow them to access
Facebook on all kind of handsets without paying for a data

"We are using USSD technology, which will enable users to
access Facebook without having a GPRS connection on their
phones," said Sumesh Menon, the co-founder and CEO of U2Opia

Unstructured Supplementary Data (USSD) is the technology
used by telecom players to send alerts to their users that
inform them about their balance at the end of call or for
sending miss call alerts.

Menon mentioned that though the technology will not
provide access to graphics, it will help users send and view
updates on their friends` Facebook walls.

"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," said Menon.

U2opia launched this application today with Indian
telecom major Bharti Airtel.

While Airtel customers can update their Facebook status
through this USSD service free of cost, Rs 1 per day will be
applicable for accessing the full-feature application, which
enables viewing news feeds, commenting on or liking news feed
stories, posting on friends` walls, confirming friend
requests, viewing notifications and finding as well as adding

"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," said Shireesh Joshi, Bharti Airtel Director -
Marketing, Mobile Services, in a statement.

Airtel users can dial *325# and *fbk# for non-qwerty
mobile handsets to access Facebook without subscribing to data
plans, the statement said.

"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 added.