Furthering its efforts to extend its social network to mobile users regardless of which handset they own, Facebook has today announced a partnership with mobile chip maker MediaTek to deliver social networking capabilities to millions of consumers with Internet-connected featurephone devices.

The partnership will see Facebook embedded into MediaTek’s mobile platform solutions, providing mobile device owners in emerging countries with access to Facebook via affordable handsets. It will use MediaTek’s Runtime Environment (MRE) to deliver social networking from the core of the device.

MediaTek says that phones powered by its chipsets accounted for 40% of the overall Indian mobile market, with the company predicting that more than 50% of its customers will utilise its new runtime environment to deliver Facebook functionality. Facebook use is growing in the country, pulling users from Google’s Orkut social network, with additional mobile partnerships set to extend its growth.

Facebook continues to outfit as many mobile devices with the ability to access its network, having already signed deals with numerous carriers around the world to provide free access to its networks regardless of handset. With MediaTek already working with handset vendors in India, Philippines and Indonesia, Facebook could see additional growth in these regions.