Grameenphone, in partnership with Meta, launched text-only Facebook and discover to enable Grameenphone customers to stay connected more consistently, even when they run out of data.
With these products, Grameenphone will help promote digital inclusion in Bangladesh through supporting connectivity, ensuring accessibility, and advancing the country’s digital aspirations, said a press release.
Text-only Facebook enables Grameenphone customers to stay connected with a text-only version of Facebook and Messenger when they run out of data until they can top up their data balance again.
And Discover, a mobile web and Android app, allows Grameenphone customers to browse the internet using a daily balance of 15MB without data charges. In addition, discover only supports low-bandwidth features such as text and icons when using free data.
With these products, Grameenphone customers will have more consistent access to essential resources such as education sites, health resources, and job information.
Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar formally inaugurated text-only Facebook and Discover at BTRC on Tuesday.
Shyam Sunder Sikder; Chairman, BTRC; Md Khalilur Rahman, Secretary, Post & Telecommunication Division, and officials from Meta and mobile operators were present.
Speaking on the occasion, Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology Minister Mustafa Jabbar said, “I have seen that during the Corona period, mobile service providers stepped out of their business purposes and stood collectively beside the people of the society.”
“They are helping to keep socio-economic activities moving by ensuring connectivity. My appreciations go to everyone. Allowing the use of Facebook without the internet is a great initiative. This shall help reduce the digital divide by ensuring information sharing and connectivity of marginalized people.”, he said.
BTRC Chairman, Shyam Sunder Sikder appreciated the arrangement and said “These services shall help the government’s aspirations to ensure affordable connectivity to all.”
Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said, “Today's launch is a testimony of co-creation with Meta and Regulator to best utilize digital solutions for ensuring access to vital information in need for one of the largest Facebook user bases in the world."
"I'd like to further express my gratitude to the regulators for enabling us to launch such a timely initiative where everyone has access to information even without data in this era", said Azman.
Paul Kim, Director of International Business Development and Operator Partnerships, APAC at Meta said, “Helping people stay connected and ensuring they have consistent access to important resources on
the internet such as education and health resources is critical. We are grateful to support these programmes to enable better connectivity and access for people in Bangladesh.”