Grameenphone, in partnership with Meta, recently launched text-only Facebook and Discover to enable Grameenphone customers to stay connected more consistently, even when they run out of data.
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, read a press release.
At the launch event on Tuesday at Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), Mustafa Jabbar, minister, Post and Telecommunication Division, formally inaugurated text-only Facebook and Discover.
He said, "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 marginalised people."
Shyam Sunder Sikder, chairman, BTRC; Md Khalilur Rahman, secretary, Post and Telecommunication Division, and officials from Meta and mobile operators were present during the event.
BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder appreciated the arrangement, commenting, "The government has been emphasising bringing maximum people under the umbrella of digital connectivity. But to turn it into a reality, we need the private sectors, especially the mobile network operators (MNO) in this case, to step forward proactively."
The BTRC Chairman said that Grameenphone's initiative will help more people who are not necessarily privileged to have high-speed internet access important virtual channels.
Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said, "The latest launch is a testimony of co-creation with Meta and Regulator to best utilise digital solutions for ensuring access to vital information in need for one of the largest Facebook user bases in the world."
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 programs to enable better connectivity and access for people in Bangladesh."