Facebook buying mobile-data firm

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San Francisco - Facebook is buying Pryte, a provider of technology that lets smartphone users download applications using temporary mobile data allowances.

The service from the Helsinki-based company is aimed at people in developing markets with higher mobile Internet costs.

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has been working on ways to collaborate with telecommunication companies to increase Web access -- and therefore Facebook -- around the world.

The world’s biggest social-networking service has also embarked on projects to deliver the Internet to underserved areas by building drones, satellites and lasers, part of Zuckerberg’s broader Internet.org initiative for connecting the world on mobile devices.

“The Pryte team will be an exciting addition to Facebook,” Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said in an e-mailed statement.

“Their deep industry experience working with mobile operators aligns closely with the initiatives we pursue with Internet.org, to partner with operators to bring affordable Internet access to the next 5 billion people, in a profitable way.”

Markku Makelainen, chief executive of Pryte, said in a blog post that the company’s goals are aligned with Facebook and its goal of bringing more people online.

“Since we launched Pryte we have worked to reimagine the way mobile data works in an app-driven world, by enabling partnerships between app and content providers, and mobile operators,” Makelainen wrote. - Bloomberg News

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