WhatsApp only SIM card comes to the UK

Billy Bambrough and Annie Roberts-Payne
WhatsApp was bought by social media giant Facebook in 2014 for almost $20bn
WhatsApp was bought by social media giant Facebook in 2014 for almost $20bn (Source: Getty)

Telecoms startup FreedomPop has launched the first ever WhatsApp only mobile SIM in the UK.

The SIM card gives free, unlimited data when using the popular Facebook-owned messaging app and offers an additional 200 megabytes of general data, as well as 100 voice minutes per month.

Earlier this week FreedomPop made headlines when Russian billionaire Mikhail Fridman, pumped $50m (£38m) into the company to fund its international expansion.

It also counts Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom among its backers.

Read more: Authorities to investigate how WhatsApp and Facebook share data

Apps like WhatsApp – and rivals Faceboook Messenger and Snapchat – have reduced demand for the use of traditional phone calls and texts, with research from Ovum forecasting associated costs to mobile network providers to hit $54bn by 2016.

Instant messaging online is the fastest growing form of digital communication in the UK, with 43 per cent of people in Britain now using it at least once a week.

That number stood at just 28 per cent two years ago, according to the latest research on digital media habits from Ofcom.

Read more: WhatsApp wants businesses to ask users "what's up?"

FreedomPop offers free international WhatsApp data and texts to any UK mobile user in 31 countries – including the US, Germany, and France – as traditional telcos face a rising backlash over roaming fees.

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