Gemalto has come up with a novel way for mobile users to get access to Facebook. The company has managed to get Facebook running on a SIM chip, allowing every GSM phone to access Facebook, even if it’s the most basic phone. It’s a SIM-based client that uses the GSM SIM Toolkit and Class 2 SMS messages, so don’t expect any fancy features, but basic Facebook features such as status updates, pokes and friend requests can be handled.
The SIM Toolkit is part of the GSM standard, so it’s supported in every GSM handset from the most basic models to the GSM iPhone and similar devices. The SIM card can provide basic menu options to the user, collect responses and offer pop up alerts when new data arrives. It isn’t clear if operators will charge for this service if it’s widely implemented, but Gemalto claims to already be discussing the service to one operator who thinks that Facebook is consuming half its bandwidth and another who is already working on SIM distribution strategies.