Facebook is getting more involved with wireless carriers as it kicks off its plans to bring internet access worldwide. According to FierceWireless, Facebook has joined the GSM Association (GSMA), a group made up of mobile operators and other interested technology partners that work together to standardize and promote the GSM cellular system. Though Facebook doesn't have any immediate investment in cell networks, it appears to be interested in playing a bigger role in their development as a way to bolster Internet.org, the organization it launched in August to help bring the entire world online. "Understanding the issues facing operators (and the industry as a whole) across regions is not only important to Facebook but to the efforts of Internet.org," a Facebook spokesperson tells FierceWireless in a statement.
Of course, bringing more of the world online could help bring more of the world onto Facebook as well. And with the social network's usage moving more and more toward mobile, it's natural for Facebook to take an interest. "Joining GSMA reflects our focus on mobile and our continued desire to work closely and collaboratively with partners in the industry, and we look forward to playing an active role as a member," Dan Rose, Facebook's vice president of partnerships, tells FierceWireless in a statement. As Internet.org expands — and it's only just getting started — it may be clearer what Facebook hopes to do as part of the GSMA, but with over 1,000 current members, its influence in the association likely won't be felt in a drastic way.