Gemalto makes Facebook SIMs possible

Courtesy, Gemalto, every GSM phone can now become a Facebook phone; bringing social networking to the most basic of handsets.

Gamelto has managed to get Facebook running on a SIM chip. Yes, Facebook running on SIMs.

Although the SIM-based client isn't as advanced as its smartphone contemporaries – A user should not expect picture streams or sliding interfaces – but it was developed with the help of Facebook, and provides text-menu-based interaction with Facebook – including status updates, pokes and friend requests – to any GSM-compatible handset through the magic of the GSM SIM Toolkit and Class 2 SMS messages.

The SIM Toolkit is part of the GSM standard and thus supported on just about every GSM handse. It allows the SIM to present menu options to the user, collect responses, and pop up alerts when new data arrives, all that's necessary for a basic Facebook client.

What are Class 2 SMS messages?

Class 2 SMS messages are delivered direct to the SIM without the user being involved, so can update friends' status messages and deliver a poke or two. The application running on the SIM then prods the handset into alerting the user. On the other hand the user's own updates are sent over SMS too, following a status change or wall posting client pastes that into an SMS, which is sent silently on its way.

Gemalto has not disclosed the names of the operators who will be partnering with it in this product. How the operator is going to charge for these messages is not clear too. --------

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