Head Of Global Connectivity Chris Weasler: No Plans For Facebook Wireless Network

By David Cohen 

SatelliteDishData650Facebook Head of Global Connectivity Chris Weasler said in an interview with FierceWireless at the 2014 GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, last week that the social network has no plans to build or operate a wireless network of its own.

Weasler told FierceWireless Facebook intends to keep working with wireless carriers and relying on their expertise and infrastructure, adding:

We are completely focused right now on partnering with operators. Operators are the best at planning, deploying, and operating their networks, and that is not something we have a core competency in. And so partnering is the right approach for us.

Weasler also told FierceWireless that at least 150 wireless operators had “zero-rated” Facebook since 2010, meaning that usage of the social network has not counted toward customers’ data usage.

He added that Internet.org — the initiative formed by Facebook, Ericsson, MediaTek, Nokia, Opera, Qualcomm, and Samsung to “connect the next 5 billion people” who are currently without Internet access — will focus on “big markets where there’s very low Internet penetration” in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia, adding that the goal is to create a basic set of services “that give people an opportunity to use the Internet for the first time and to understand its value,” and saying:

There’s no question that if we bring people onto the Internet, many of them probably will use Facebook. In the short term, this is not meant to be a money-maker.

Readers: What did you think of Weasler’s comments?

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