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Econet slashes MMS tariffs by more than half

In an apparent bid to have more mobile subscribers using the freshly launched Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), Econet has slashed tariffs for the service by more than half, from US 15 cents to just 6 cents. The country’s largest telecoms firm made the announcement yesterday to customers via an SMS which read:

Good News: MMS tariffs reduced for your convenience, now you can share your photos & videos from as little as 6c. Let’s share the fun.

Whether this will drive droves of subscribers to service or not is of course not clear yet. We imagine though that if 15 cents a message was too much, the 60% reduction won’t mean much to many. In fact we’ll go ahead and just say the price tag itself is not the problem here; the problem is pricing data in units of messages sent from one subscriber to another.

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6 cents an MMS is actually cheaper than, say, uploading a 1 megabyte photo to Facebook. But most subscribers don’t look at it that way. Mobile data users don’t view internet data in price-tagged blocks of messages. The way SMS and MMS work that is. Once they connect, most people actually feel WhatsApp transmits their messages for free. It’s the same way people consider Skype to Skype calls free.

So far Econet hasn’t released any MMS usage stats and usually that’s a sign there’s nothing impressive to talk about. It’ll be interesting to see if this latest move changes things for the better significantly.


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11 thoughts on “Econet slashes MMS tariffs by more than half

  1. While it may be true that 6c an MMS is cheaper than uploading a 1mb file top FB, I tend to differ on the fact that the users deem whatsapp as being free for the reason that it appears free. Or that skype-to-skype appears free.

    The really BIG-WIN for whatsapp, skype, etc isn’t in the price of econet or how they seem to appear free. The real BIG-WIN is the fact that in an ideal world, internet is very very cheap and so the 6c of econet MMS still is expensive.

     E.g When I connect to Whatsapp on my Droid, using a cheap WIFI connection e.g ZOL or the free-work internet, then all those whatsapp, skype etc are actually free. Not just seemingly-free, but actually free!!!
    Even 6c cannot beat this…
    Add to that the fact that MMS is so backward

  2.  We have heard about Whatsapp charging us soon..For a year and a half now. Everytime my expiry date is near, whatspp continues to extend my free trial period. And even if they don’t extend our free trial period, there are open source, completely free, alternatives e.g kakaoTalk.

      1.  Indeed. kakaotalk is better. But just like whatsapp, it will not beocme popular until whatsapp starts charging. MaZimba tinoda zvinhu zvemahara…

  3. MMS is kinda old, Econet was told their charge was way too old and should have reduced this a long time ago. If ever whatsapp starts charging, I will look for another service not use Econet MMS

  4. actually the charging from Whatsapp is negligible. $1 us per year. Besides there are multiple IM apps out there. I applaud them for the prices though. its easy to share images with loved ones e.g sending that picture from kwamereki to your friends. Maybe its only me but i still prefer SMS sometimes over instant messaging. and MMS is now a cheaper option. this is welcome news for me. increases my options. 

  5. Im sure the error for SMS and MMS is almost done, most people i meet out there are looking for  “a phone with WhatsApp” basically any phone that can run the App, I for one do not see myself reverting to SMS or MMS. 
    Im sure they should focus on internet packages as opposed to trying to renew the old.
    Might as well just add using telecel on a smartphone for WhatsApp and Gtalk is actually cheaper than  econet .

  6. I never used MMS and never will, even from where I am holed. With instant messaging, we should simply forget about MMS, i am surprised Econet is trying to push it. Instant messaging has the desirability of instantaneity, and the most valuable aspect—–knowing when your message is delivered and when it is read………….so you know whether you are being ignored or its “network issues”. It creates an atmosphere of a continuous conversation and its send and receiving is simply easy for everyone.

  7. When Econet introduced MMS in 2011, to me it was like am adult going back to playing with toy cars because he didn’t have them as a kid. The natural progression with every other country has been SMS – MMS – GPRS – EDGE and then 3G but then with Econet it was SMS – GPRS – EDGE – 3G and then they discovered oops! We skipped MMS!!

    So I don’t really see why the service was introduced, it certainly wasn’t to meet a “gap” in the market but perhaps they saw phones with “MMS” capability and thought maybe they could provide a service that enables subscribers to use that functionality.

    Whatsapp is likely to charge US$2 a year which I would be willing to pay for, and the data rate at 10c/MB for a 2kilobyte message is about a thousandth of a dollar, so really that’s close to nothing!! And I like the fact that Whatsapp runs in my Android’s background so I don’t have to “log-on” to view my messages, that’s the main difference between Whatsapp and other IM applications which gives it an edge. Even if Whatsapp charge $10 a year I don’t care they can “chop my money”

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