Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - In a world first WhatsApp has teamed with a German network provider to offer its own SIM with free WhatsApp messaging. This is a step towards making WhatsApp an MVNO, meaning a carrier that doesn’t own an actual network – like GiffGaff.

Initially this offer is in Germany only using the e-Plus network where the €10 SIM gives unlimited WhatsApp messaging. The €10 goes towards call credit which is charged at nine euro cents per minute, or data which is 24 euro cents per megabyte. For an extra €10, users get 600 credits that can be used interchangeably for one megabyte of data, one minute of talk or one SMS - each charged at one credit). Users still have to pay the 99 US cent fee for WhatsApp use, according to Tech Crunch.


READ: WhatsApp acquisition: Why did Facebook spend more than $16bn on a messaging app?

It's Home Security Week on Pocket-lint

WhatsApp's voice service doesn't appear to be available at this stage in Germany. This could represent a way to give away even more free services to users in the future.

Facebook's attempts to release mobile phones make its purchase of WhatsApp a potential new way into user's pockets via carriers.

To encourage the SIM popularity WhatsApp is offering an extra €10 credit to anyone who gets two new users to sign up for a SIM.

Neeraj Arora, WhatsApp’s head of business development says: "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." 

Writing by Luke Edwards.