WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum
at MWC 2014 had indicated that the company was looking ways to work with carriers
It seems the popular messaging service has finally kicked off its plans, beginning with Germany. WhatsApp, in partnership with E-Plus, which is a mobile telecommunications operator in Germany, is now selling prepaid SIMs that offer unlimited WhatsApp usage.
It's worth pointing out that this is the first time an instant messaging company has entered into partnership with carrier to offer SIMs. We expect that WhatsApp might expand its mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) offering to other countries as well.
Notably, the messaging service is offering a number of deals to consumers in Germany. Some of the plans being offered by WhatsApp via E-Plus include a EUR 10 SIM, with which a user gets EUR 10 starter credit for calls, messages or data, while opting for an extra EUR 10 gives users an additional 600 credits for data, calling and messaging.
WhatsApp and E-Plus, in an attempt to promote their SIMs, are also offering an extra EUR 10 credit to every consumer for recommending two friends.
Androidnext notes that WhatsApp and E-Plus are also releasing dedicated apps for Android and iOS for managing the SIM.
TechCrunch quoted WhatsApp's head of business development, Neeraj Arora who said, "WhatsApp has over 50 carrier deals globally. The WhatsApp ePlus SIM card is WhatsApp's first partnership with e-Plus (a carrier) to launch an MVNO brand. This is the first kind of its deal globally between a technology company and a carrier. Carriers are important strategic partners for WhatsApp and we're constantly working with them to bring innovative offerings to users globally."