These problems are, I think, the biggest ones hindering widespread adoption. The second (Telegram Bundle) is probably the domino that could knock over the first problem and possibly all the rest.
So is there is a way MNOs could offer a Telegram bundle?
The answer to this question or a possible solution is by looking at Econet’s combo social media bundles. Econet offers a combination of social media and messaging apps bundled together. For example, for ZWL$17.00 you get 20 MBs for WhatsApp, Pinterest and Sasai.
Since Econet is pushing for Sasai, I doubt they’d want to add Telegram in this arrangement. However, Telecel and NetOne could jump on this and create a combo bundle that includes WhatsApp.
Including WhatsApp means that subscribers have the option of both under one bundle. This also results in Telecel and NetOne subscribers who aren’t familiar with Telegram getting a gateway to it. If they don’t like it they can simply use the data for WhatsApp only.
For those who want to transition to Telegram, they can do so while they slowly wean themselves off of WhatsApp.
It makes sense, business wise… (in my opinion)
In the same way, we don’t know how many people in Zimbabwe jumped on to Telegram this past week. We also don’t know how many people would want to use Telegram but would only want to do so within the confines of a bundle. Creating a bundle that services both WhatsApp and Telegram solves the risk element for MNOs.
They may not even have to change the current lineup of bundles. All they’ll need to do is to add Telegram (and even Signal) to the ones already on offer.
Will this work?
The noise may die down until the 15th of May, but Zim’s MNOs should at least have a facility in place to capitalise on whatever happens after that date (and maybe before).
The MNO that jumps on to creating a Telegram, Signal and WhatsApp bundle (or a combination of any of them) will show it’s customers that it is in tune with times and willing to adapt.