Joining GSMA may in part be related to 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.
Facebook Vice President of Partnerships Dan Rose said in a statement to FierceWireless:
Joining GSMA reflects our focus on mobile and our continued desire to work closely and collaboratively with partners in the industry, and we look forward to playing an active role as a member.
Facebook Spokesman Derick Mains also told FierceWireless:
(The biggest benefit of joining GSMA) is that it ensures our continued tight alignment with operators worldwide and the issues they care most about. The broad reach of GSMA and its members, along with the wide organizational footprint, are also benefits to Facebook. Understanding the issues facing operators and the industry as a whole across regions is not only important to Facebook, but to the efforts of Internet.org.
And GSMA spokeswoman Claire Cranton told FierceWireless:
Facebook is obviously an significant player in the mobile ecosystem, so a relationship with Facebook is important as GSMA strives to deliver programs on behalf of our mobile operator members. (GSMA has had) an ongoing relationship with Facebook for several years, and we are pleased that Facebook has taken the decision to join GSMA. (GSMA) will look to engage with Facebook in programs that are mutually beneficial.
Readers: What do you think about Facebook’s decision to join GSMA?