While USSD is convenient because it is a highly portable platform that will work almost with any phone, with the exception of the occasional Lumia quirks as my friend found out, it has the distinct advantage of requiring you to learn lots of codes.
Which is why when I bought my Telecel “matched number” line the month before last, the first thing I did was search for a Telecel Android App. I couldn’t find one because it didn’t exist and had to rely on a screenshot from one of our articles on Telecel USSD codes whenever I wanted to get something done.
Well, it would seem Telecel have finally released their own Android App. Both Econet (the largest) and Netone (second largest) mobile network operators already have their own mobile apps that subscribers can use to carry out mundane acts such as checking airtime balances, viewing the balances of a mind-numbing number of bundles that they all have from WhatsApp to Instagram and buying this bundles of course.
If you are worried about the Telecel app gobbling up your data the good news is that the app is zero-rated if you are using a Telecel line for data which lucky for me is exactly what I do. When I took the app for a quick spin yesterday I kept checking my data balance and true to their promise my data balance remained unchanged.
Installing the App and Registering
When it comes to registering the app uses the WhatsApp model of doing things that we are all familiar with by now, you go to the Play Store, click on install (the app is about 2.5 MB in size), wait for the process to complete, open the app, click on skip tour and then you will be taken to the register screen. Be careful zero-rating does not apply to you downloading the app from Google Play.
Registering is easy; you enter your phone number and tap on register. A verification SMS is sent to your phone. The app was able to automatically detect this but in case it doesn’t you can always enter the 6 digit code and you will be presented with the Telecel App home screen showing you all the things you can do with the app.
To access a function just tap on it. Below are screenshots showing some of these features in action.
The shortcode function is especially useful. Unlike the screenshot I have been relying on, I can tap on a shortcode and the app immediately executes it. The self-care function is not yet live though so you will not be able to view your calling history. Neither does the roaming toggle switch work. When you try to use it you will be shown a notice blaming the lack of this function on forex shortages of all things. Apparently to activate roaming you have to visit your nearest Telecel shop.
That’s a little weird but I have always relied on the Econet Plus app whenever I leave Zimbabwe so it’s not a function that I am going to miss. The app is really convenient if you are a Telecel smartphone user you should really try it.
Quick NetOne, Telecel, Africom, Econet Airtime Recharge
Telecel Zimbabwe is a telecommunications services provider with most of its services in the mobile cellular network services. The company is owned jointly by the Empowerment Corporation (40%) and Vimpelcom (60%), one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. In Zimbabwe, Telecel is the... Read More About Telecel
Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, a subsidiary of Econet Wireless International, is the first and largest mobile network services provider in Zimbabwe. The telecoms giant became popular with its products and services such as Buddie. It has established branches in different corners of the country and enjoys... Read More About Econet