bsnl-logoBSNL subscribers can now access Facebook and WhatsApp through special data bundles in north zone. (hat tip: Sanjay Bafna)

A subscriber can pay Rs 40 to access Facebook for a month, but there is data limit of 250 MB and this data cannot be used for any other service. Similarly you can subscribe to a WhatsApp package that offers 200 MB of data for Rs 30. It is not clear why both Facebook and WhatsApp are not being offered as part of one bundle considering Facebook had acquired WhatsApp earlier this year. It is about time both these services started bundling their services instead of seeking separate deals for each service.

This is WhatsApp’s fifth telco deal after signing deals with Reliance Communications in October 2012, Tata Docomo in December 2013, Uninor in March this year and Airtel in May this year.

In India, WhatsApp has over 50 million users and competes against services such as Line, WeChat, Hike, ChatON (Samsung), among others. Such deals might convince more subscribers to get a data pack and use the service on the move. However, it will also discourage people from trying out other messaging apps that compete with WhatsApp.

Facebook meanwhile has 100 million users in India, but the biggest problem has been monetization. This deal again, seems to be about getting more people to use the service on mobile devices than about monetization.

Also read:

– On Telecom vs Internet in a post WhatsApp Voice scenario
– WhatsApp’s Business Head Neeraj Arora on Carrier Deals & Voice, Biz Dev Plans, India, Payments
– WhatsApp’s Business Head Neeraj Arora on Integration Of Services, The Facebook Deal & Why He Joined WhatsApp