And Facebook for All: SIM-based Mobile Service Launches in Argentina

Patrick Archer creative class, entrepreneurs, technology

Gemalto Facebook for SIM card service

No smartphone? No problem. Gemalto’s Facebook for SIM will be a hit with the new digital middle class.

According to eMarketer, Internet users in Latin America will grow to 285 million by 2015, and Argentines are increasingly focused on one social network: Facebook.

While Argentina smartphone sales have surged 225% this year, the number of basic handsets and minimal feature phones still make up over 70% of the mobile market.

Now a Dutch company is seizing on these trends and opening up mobile access to Facebook for the majority of Argentine consumers who don’t own smartphones with expensive data plans. Amsterdam-based digital security company Gemalto is launching an innovative Facebook for SIM card in conjunction with Argentine carrier Personal.

Gemalto worked with Facebook to put the core features of Facebook on a SIM card accessible with virtually any mobile phone.With Facebook for SIM, owners of simple handsets can use SMS to update their status, write on a friend’s wall, view news feeds, find Facebook friends and receive notifications.

After a free trial, the service will cost US$1/day or US$9/month, according to Caroline Gabriel at Rethink Wireless. In Argentina, as in other corners of South America, Facebook for SIM should be a big hit with The New Digital Middle Class.

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