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Tata Docomo Offers Non-GPRS Access To FB & Twitter Through USSD

Tata Docomo is attempting to "Keep it simple" for its users by allowing them to access Facebook and Twitter without data (GPRS) connectivity. The operator has partnered with Fonetwish a service by Singaporean mobile solutions provider U2opia Mobile to offer this service to mobile subscribers on its network.

Airtel launched the same service, though only offering Facebook, in May. U2opia's Fonetwish was developed jointly with Facebook and uses USSD (Unstructured Supplementary Service Data), which allows mobile phones to send and receive SMSs (text messages) from an application program. It works only on GSM networks.

Mobile users have to dial *325# or *fbk# to access Facebook and *515# or for Twitter. They will have to first activate their subscription to the value added service and will be charged Re 1 per day for Twitter and Re 1 per event for Facebook, according to TelecomTalk. Surprising, since Airtel offers it for Re 1 per day to its users.

Through the USSD browser, users can post wall updates, confirm friend requests, send a message, read their news feeds and like/comment on posts.

Users on other networks can also look forward to accessing social networking via USSD services soon as U2opia rolls out its services with other operators. The company is also expanding to other countries like Indonesia and Philippines.

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