Zimbabwe and regional technology news and updates



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WhatsApp in a big u-turn, you are no longer required to accept its controversial new terms

This year Facebook-owned chat app WhatsApp started on a very controversial note. In a storm of their own making, they issued, out of the blue, a terse demand asking users to agree to new draconian terms of service. That was unusual enough, what was even more unusual was the threat that those who wouldn’t agree […]

Soon you will be able to appeal your ban from within WhatsApp

It has never happened to me but from time to time WhatsApp hands out a ban for perceived violations of its terms and services. Usually, it’s something that just happens and those punished really have no idea what prompted the ban. Even worse, until now it was not easy to appeal this ban or even […]

WhatsApp now lets you join group calls while they are in progress

WhatsApp has started rolling out a feature that allows you to join group calls while they are in progress. It’s kind of like what you can do with conferencing software like Zoom or Google Meet. So now you don’t have to be added to a WhatsApp call and you can flit in and out as […]

Zimbabwe versus South African WhatsApp data bundles

WhatsApp data bundles are a practice I don’t agree with, however, no matter what I think they are a part of our lives. One thing I have noticed though is that whenever I am in a group with ordinary non-tech Zimbabweans in South Africa, the South African based people there seem to always whine about […]

Zimbabwean banks should develop local WhatsApp based payment systems

WhatsApp is the internet in Zimbabwe, everyone uses it, that being said we need more local payment solutions through the app.

Will The Cheaper Sasai Bundle Save The Messaging App?

Sasai recently got a discounted bundle introduced by Econet in what seems like an effort to boost usage of the flailing Instant Messaging application. The new Sasai bundles will be priced as follows: Daily Sasai bundles; $1.25 – 20MB $4 – 45MB 50% discount compared to the WhatsApp+Pinterest+Sasai bundle. Weekly Sasai Bundles $5 – 65MB […]

NetOne’s Social Media Manager Seems Unaware That People Aren’t Happy With Cost Of Data

Yesterday, NetOne posted a seemingly innoncent Tweet on their official Twitter account asking subscribers which WhatsApp bundle they are using: In a functional country, this shouldn’t cause a scene. People should vote and be done with it but once you go through the comments replying the tweet you’ll know that Zim is not exactly functional […]

Econet vs Netone vs Telecel : Here’s Which Network Offers The Cheapest WhatsApp Bundles

We can whine all we want about the new data prices/data allocations the Mobile Network Operators have (conspired) to give us but just have to make do with what’s there. MNO’s are profit-making organisations for crying out loud- they had to adjust in line with changing economy. We either have to cut back the amount […]

Econet Needs To Make WhatsApp Bundles Great Again Because Right Now They Don’t Work

If you’ve ever invested time in any literature you’ll know that for any story to be great; there needs to be conflict. If you’ve bought WhatsApp bundles from Econet recently and you looked at the headline, you’ll probably understand the conflict in this story. WhatsApp bundles from Econet used to just work but it seems […]

Dear WhatsApp, I Have One Small Request

Dear WhatsApp or Facebook (the parent) Largely I am happy with the new changes that keep coming up especially when it comes to groups and the experience in groups. I particularly liked the introduction of a feature that allows group admins to silence noise makers. Thank you. I also liked that you did not just […]

It’s called MegaBoost and it offers unlimited WhatsApp. Finally something new from Telecel

Telecel hasn’t launched anything in a while. In a very long while. They have been quiet in their corner while other companies released new stuff (in the case of NetOne) or complained about not being allowed to release new stuff (in Econet’s case). So you can imagine our surprise and pleasure today when we received an email from […]

Press Release: Telecel launches new voice and data bundle: MegaBoost

Telecel has announced a new data, voice and text package for its Telecel Go pre-paid subscribers. The offering which is known as MegaBoost is a combo bundle with various benefits. Telecel Zimbabwe Head of Marketing, Mr. Christopher Rubatika, said the introduction of the MegaBoost package is Telecel’s response to the demand for more affordable mobile […]

NetOne increases data on WhatsApp & Facebook bundles – here’s a comparison with competitors’ offers

NetOne the Zimbabwean mobile network operator has revised its bundled mobile data packages, reintroducing daily bundles and setting data caps on all its social media offerings. The changes didn’t just end there, though. NetOne also marginally increased data limits on its WhatsApp and Facebook bundles, something that could help subscribers stretch the value that they get […]

No more unlimited access on OneFusion as NetOne puts data caps on its flagship package

It turns out that data caps have also been introduced on its OneFusion package. A look at the OneFusion menu indicates these changes though the OneFusion website and Facebook page are yet to carry any announcement to that effect.

Looking for the best WhatsApp & Facebook deal? – here’s a comparison of Econet, NetOne & Telecel bundles

The cost of mobile data in Zimbabwe might have been recently reversed after a huge outcry from the public, but that doesn’t change the fact that the cost of staying connected is still prohibitive for a lot of people. Which is why social media bundles are such a hit. These packages provided by all three […]

NetOne quietly introduces data caps on its unlimited WhatsApp and Facebook bundles

NetOne, Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile network operator also made adjustments to its own broadband lineup. It recently placed data caps on its social media bundles. This means that daily, weekly and monthly bundles for Over the Top services like Facebook and WhatsApp now have a data limit on them. Daily bundles have a 20 MB cap, […]

New tariffs – POTRAZ says it consulted the mobile operators, they actually wanted even higher prices

Zimbabwean mobile subscribers have been hit by an increase in broadband tariffs following a directive by the telecoms regulator, POTRAZ, to set new floor prices for voice and mobile data bundles. The regulator’s directive was that all voice calls should cost at least 12 cents per minute and all data bundles should be priced at […]

These data bundles from Econet, NetOne & Telecel are set to be scrapped or to go up in price soon

Over the next few days, all three mobile operators – Econet, NetOne and Telecel – have to make changes to their data bundles so subscribers can expect the following to either go up in price to meet the new minimums or be done away with completely.

WhatsApp is NOT news! – Social media’s dominance in Zimbabwean internet use creates fertile ground for fake news

Zimbabwe hasn’t been immune to the challenges of fake news. Other than the emergence of news platforms that rely on clickbait there is also the impact of internet access being limited largely to social media.

Allo, Google’s messaging app serves up artificial intelligence brilliantly, but still won’t beat WhatsApp

Allo, Google’s messaging app serves up artificial intelligence brilliantly, but in Zimbabwe it still won’t beat WhatsApp.

Zimbabwe has the third most expensive mobile data in Africa

Zimbabwe has the third most expensive mobile data prices in Africa with the cheapest monthly 1 GB data package in the country set at $30.

Local language tool ShonaApp registers over 10,000 downloads, growth powered by WhatsApp distribution

ShonaApp has so far registered over 10,000 downloads. This uptake has been enabled by some changes made to the app that include adding backwards compatibility to Android 2.2 devices and extending distribution platforms to include WhatsApp.

Econet Wireless’ Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) declines to $6.84, the lowest since dollarisation

This number was shared in the mobile operator’s consolidated annual financial results published recently. At less than $7 this is the lowest ARPU total that Econet has recorded ever since Zimbabwe adopted a multi-currency system in 2009.

Mobile internet use in Zimbabwe increases by over 100% in just a year

However, the most pronounced increase is evident in the year on year comparison of mobile data consumption. In the first quarter of 2015, mobile data use stood at 750.154 million megabytes. That number has since jumped by 101.3% to the 1.510 billion megabytes total recorded for March 2016.

Zimbabwe’s mobile telecoms revenues down by 12% as economy & technology take toll on industry

In the first quarter of 2016, Zimbabwe’s mobile telecoms generated $167.7 million in revenue which was a 12.3% decline from the revenue earned in the last quarter of 2015.

Zimbabwe’s voice traffic declines by 15% as subscribers opt for cheaper options like WhatsApp

Zimbabwe’s national voice traffic declined by 15.3% in the first quarter of 2016. Approximately 1,007 billion voice minutes were recorded between January and March 2016, a drop from the 1.2 billion voice minutes recorded in the last quarter of 2015.

Econet introduces zero-rated Kwesé TV bundles, plays to its strengths in aggressive African VOD space

Though Econet Media declined to comment on any developments related to Kwesé TV, the option for $0 daily, weekly and monthly Kwesé bundles suggests that the internet used to access the service will be zero rated for Econet subscribers.

NetOne boosts internet allowance on OneFusion package, offers 20 times as much data

When NetOne launched its OneFusion package earlier this month it received a lot of feedback, both good and bad. However, the biggest weakness that was identified was the feeble data allocation for each bundle. It turns out NetOne was listening. It has unveiled an updated version of OneFusion which is way more generous in terms of […]

Zimbabwe doesn’t need apps, it needs bots instead

Using the same third party integration to maximise on the attention that is given to these specific services, developers catering for Zimbabwe need to create solutions around WhatsApp and Facebook instead of independent applications that would otherwise be overlooked.

Econet Zimbabwe’s broadband growth slows, highlights need for service innovation

When compared to other service lines broadband growth is critical right now. Voice and SMS are slowly being written off and broadband is one of the service lines that has been eyed as the future revenue driver. Its slowdown raises some concerns about Econet’s future growth especially as voice revenue continues to recede.