Facebook_airtelSunil Mittal, founder of Airtel and Mark Zuckerberg the Facebook founder met over dinner to discuss the future of communications and potential partnership with Airtel.

The meeting comes at a time when telecom companies in general are worried about the disruption being caused by social networking sites and Internet services companies.

An example is how instant messaging companies such as WhatsApp, now acquired by Facebook, have killed the once thriving SMS revenue.

Beginnings of a symbiotic relationship are already visible. Facebook and Airtel have partnered in Rwanda to offer subsidised data services. Mittal and Zuckerberg discussed how telecom companies like Airtel can play a bigger role in the entire piece to make it profitable for everyone.

Zuckerburg in his keynote at the Mobile World Congress, has argued that the biggest barrier in connecting people to the Internet in emerging markets is no longer the cost of phones, but expensive data plans.  He made a case for operators to introduce unlimited bundles with free access to basic Internet services such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Source: Business Line