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Telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has NOT banned WhatsApp bundles

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Every year, we post something drastic for April Fools and this year we decided to go touch something a lot of people clearly love; their WhatsApp Bundles. So we ran with Local telecoms regulator POTRAZ bans WhatsApp bundles, operators given 7 days to comply“, and as per tradition, at 12 midday we added an update to let readers know it was just a joke.

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We did manage to fool a few but most of our readers saw it and called it out immediately. Yesterday however, 4 things happened:

  • One of us here at the office told us that on Sunday, someone they gave a lift to church shared a concern: “You heard they have banned WhatsApp bundles? What do we do now?” He explained April.
  • A clearly unamused reader told us the joke was nonsense and we were being click-needy jerks for keeping it up. Instead of just deleting the article that is. Ardent followers of course know that once published it’s extremely hard for things to vanish on Techzim. Our reason is that pretending things never happened is dishonest at best and adds fuel to the fire of suspicion (that it’s true but some powerful type pressured/paid us to delete – they do try). We think a more transparent approach is to update it with an explanation even when it means admitting we were wrong.
  • Someone in our WhatsApp Groups who’d clearly been under a rock since Friday 😉 eagerly shared the breaking news of the WhatsApp ban to the community on Monday afternoon.
  • We spoke to someone at the regulator who told us that while they (and providers) understood it was a joke, consumers have inundated them with “How dare you ban bundles!” complaints. We felt bad about this. In our conversation with them we suggested a post to clarify things and they agreed.

So, this is us making it as clear as we possibly can:

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WhatsApp Bundles have NOT been banned at all. It was an April Fools joke.

We’re sorry for the confusion it’s caused and while we’ll still do April Fools stuff in the future (It makes us laugh and we like laughing) this type of joke won’t ever happen again.

We’re promoting this post on Facebook so as many as possible see it. Frustrating how bad news travels free where the good needs to pay its way.


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15 thoughts on “Telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, has NOT banned WhatsApp bundles

  1. Wow, Techzim… You have made it in life right there! Post more April fools articles please the publicity is good for you…well and bad kkkk

  2. well, you live in a country where stupid decisions and public threats happen all the time… and now you’re surprised when people take your ‘joke’ seriously?

      1. yes and no – its a multi-faceted argument that is complicated to say the least, but its something that i wouldn’t have been surprised at if it was real – and i think that is where the problem stands – while it was an april fools it is so easily plausible as a real event too – this isn’t TZ’s fault but just a vagary of the technological climate we operate in particularly goverments involvement (or lack of) in it.

        It really is worthwhile having open debate and discourse about this specific topic further and invite view points from accross the industry and consumers – i realise this is probably potraz’s job but do you see them doing that anytime soon and in any well organised fashion?

        1. true, far from conclusive if it’s a bad decision. I lean on not stupid side. But I have the privilege of enjoying the whole internet and can’t imagine having my access limited to to WhatsApp coz that’s all i can afford. That said, I don’t know how well the bundles are working for the operator and what their choices are business wise. I suspect opening the whole internet but throttling the speed (pay more for more speed) would actually create more value for the operator and that to push them explore this, the regulator would need to step in with something like a bundle ban, or a threat to ban it in 6 months…
          POTRAZ has reasonable access the data to enable them to think through this better. I wish there was more public discussion on these issues in the sector

    1. a bundle ban would be a good decision, because currently as it stands mobile operators are giving facebook, whatsapp and twitter and unfaire advantage to other products in the same market. just make the bundles affordable for all content and problem solved, the uptake in data will make up for the loss in profit margin if you find the right price point

      1. I dont think that way. Bundles are actually a way of making money for the providers as they constitute a higher percentage of internet usage.

  3. That was my favourite post of the week TechZim you just killed it!! I have a dream for net neutrality, instead of giving users whatsapp bundles I wish they just gave a better bundle like 250mb for a week o month/not 24hrs and the user decides what t do with it! Thats my dream

  4. i really reconcile with you guys as pertains to bad news travelling far and wide. I had some bad news from our organisation travelling as far as Europe with far reaching consequencis, yet we had tried to propagate the good news earlier but with no resounding success. Maybe you guys at Techzim can just do a research how the bad news travels so fast and we can use that to paddle the good news too.

    Thanks for the update however

  5. Iwe Kabweza you almost killed me with heart attack. I cant afford to buy their internet bundles. I was already resigned to life without whatsapp and facebook

  6. oh really? I was the one spreading lies as I ddnt read the update. Surely you could have highlighted at the end of the article be it in small and italics that its an April 1 joke! I am not angry at all but all I can say is “you got me”

  7. Personally I loved the joke and tried to even add somthing to the comments but people seemed to pick up pretty quick.

  8. Why worry about it as if the 7 days to comply was up? Everyone had 7 days to enjoy so nobody was shortchanged

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