Reliance Communications today announced a special Whatsapp plan, the first for any Indian carrier. The plan gives subscribers free access to Whatsapp for Rs 16 every month. For a limited period, users of Whatsapp plan will also get access to Facebook for free. Reliance GSM subscribers can subscribe to the ‘WhatsApp Plan, by sending a SMS “WA” or “WhatsApp” or “FB” or “Facebook” to 53739.
Whatsapp is an IM service that integrates with the user’s phonebook, enabling them to send messages over a data connection to anyone who’s on Whatsapp till the time they know the recipient’s phone number. The service is already being touted as an alternative to BlackBerry Messenger while BlackBerry users often call it ‘poor man’s BBM’.
It is quite interesting to see a carrier offer a cheap Whatsapp tariff plan considering the service was claimed to be anti-carriers as it ate into their text messaging revenues. We have a hunch that this is just the beginning for Whatsapp’s affair with Indian carriers and users. Watch this space for more.