updated 10:55 pm EST, Thu February 16, 2012
Social network to be available on all handsets
Wireless carrier Orange has announced that it will bring Facebook functionality to its subscribers in Africa. The company suggests the social networking feature will be available on all of its mobile phones throughout its coverage area across the continent.
The company is said to be utilizing a low-bandwidth technology, referred to as unstructured supplementary service data (USSD), that enables feature phones to take advantage of a text-based version of Facebook that eliminates the need for mobile browsers or native apps.
The initial activation requires users to provide Facebook login information, however subsequent interactions are initiated via numeric codes and PIN numbers for authentication. Text entry can then be used to search for friends, manage friend requests, add status update, and like or add comments to status posts from other users.
The system does not require a data plan or Internet access, however Orange will charge for the service through several schemes. Users can pay per session, daily, weekly, or monthly.
Orange's Ivory Coast operation will be the first to launch the service later this month, though exact pricing details have yet to be announced. [via All Facebook]