Operator Maxis in Malaysia is probably the only operator globally that has been able to successfully launch a product fb2mobile, that goes beyond being a bit pipe in mobile social networking. As compared with Vodafone 360 by Vodafone in the UK, Social Net by AT&T in the US, and messenger services by Orange in the UK, they have a superior offering that covers all the elements of messaging and keeps the price plans simple and easily comprehensible.

Operators globally have been trying to go beyond a bit pipe approach and thereby trying to compete with over the top players such as Facebook and Twitter. TeleNow.net conducted a study wherein it compared the mobile social networking offerings by four operators, Maxis, Vodafone, AT&T and Orange and realized that different operators have taken a different approach towards offering mobile social networking services to its subscribers and fb2mobile offering by Maxis is the best. The key highlights of the study are:

1) fb2mobile by Maxis has a comprehensive offering wherein it provides updates and uploads through messaging to Facebook and Twitter
2) Vodafone tries to create its own social network, an unsuccessful attempt that many operators have tried in the past. Vodafone 360 doesn’t offer upload through messaging and its entire approach revolves around the subscriber address book. A subscriber can back up and synchronize its address book with social networking sites and there’s no integration to update status or upload photographs in Facebook or Twitter. An incomplete offering by every means.
3) AT&T has probably taken the right approach by offering mobile application through its offering Social Net, that provides updates to Facebook and Twitter. However, the biggest challenge with mobile client application is really the compatibility of application clients with numerous types of handsets. An uphill task indeed. The Social Net, a page in Facebook has mostly dissatisfied customers
4) Orange has taken the instant message route and needless to add there is little that qualifies as mobile social networking
5) Above all what fb2mobile does the best is its simple pricing which is very clearly explained on its website. Ironical, that its untrue for the other social networking offerings compared in the study

The conclusion is that fb2mobile is ranked above Vodafone 360, Social Net and Messenger offering by Orange and is the best attempt by an operator to being a smart pipe in mobile social networking.