WhatsApp launches unique pre-paid SIM card in Germany

7 Apr 2014

In a sign of things to come, WhatsApp has launched a pre-paid SIM card in Germany giving users unlimited messages outside of their data plans.

The German network E-Plus will sell the €10 SIM card giving users 600 credits that can be used interchangeably for 1MB of data, one minute of a phone call or one standard SMS text message and unlimited WhatsApp messages.

Mobile networks have in recent years, with the growth of companies such as WhatsApp and Viber, been looking to the future and how they will be able to adapt to the possibility of people just using their mobiles for internet use as they gradually move away from SMS and the traditional phone call.

Following its acquisition by Facebook in February, WhatsApp’s founder and CEO Jan Koum had suggested the company would be in discussions with mobile operators about its future and its plans, particularly as it looks to add enhanced voice messaging by the end of Q2 this year.

Germany’s main Android website, AndroidNext, has said the decision was an obvious one for the company to make, given that WhatsApp is installed on 90pc of Germany’s 30m smartphone users.

The two companies will also be launching dedicated apps for iOS and Android to manage their SIM account.

There have been no indications of when or if this WhatsApp SIM will be appearing outside of Germany, but given the app’s popularity among the world’s smartphone users, it would seem only a matter of time before they will begin appearing in Irish stores.

WhatsApp image via Twin Design/Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic