By Perseverance Tavagwisa
Few days back, after Econet launched the SMS bundles i had a heated argument with my editor as he strongly pointed out that no mobile operator would promote whatsapp since this is obviously their major threat and an obvious reason why most people have abandoned texting.
More like the Econet team were eavesdropping, they recently launched what we rightfully termed the most unthinkable move !
So, skeptical as ever we had to read between the lines to pick the missing fragments which most people are likely going to miss under the noise of void celebrations.
Why would a GSM operator generously promote an app which is obviously chewing their revenue streams ?
its a public secret.Whatsapp is not killing texting at 8cents per message, its killing Multi media messaging and seriously encroaching into voice revenue shares with audio recording capacity.
The truth is Econet can not be stupid to promote such a fiery contender unless they are really stupid ofcourse!
Another silent voice whispered that they maybe continuing with cold war against Telecel for a Pyrrhic victory, so coming from that background a lot of reading between the lines had to be done.
So here it is, Econet has launched Whatsapp Bundles (a move that is certainly going to raise more than eyebrows!)
After a quick look into the pricing structure by Econet, well, i can safely say that we were not so far from the truth, the Whatsapp bundles will make so much noise more than they really can offer.
Econet`s move comes barely a few days after another breathtaking Unlimited SMS Bundles for their Buddies that will work across all networks . One may be forgiven for thinking that the move was likely to work to the demise of whatsapp.
Here is how the bundles are going to work. According to Econet , you either purchase the bundles through their *143# format USSD or purchase them directly from any Econet shop!
As for now the Whatsapp bundles are available for only prepaid customers, Econet have shutout the contract users in this launch for now.
For 24hrs of unlimited network dependent interaction on whatsapp, the buddies will have to fork-out 30 cents. Okay, as mentioned before its 24Hrs…so after 24 hrs you are out!
Econet reassures the buddies as the bundle packages seem to improve and increase as buddies pump out more money. For 7 days it costs the buddies 95 cents, just 5 cents less a dollar while the monthly Bundles have been pegged at $3.
The big question: Is this move really worth the attention ? For any normal or hardcore whatsapp user, what is the average usage of Whatsapp considering a dollar can only give you a maximum of 10mb of data? Plain messaging (Whatsapp) will last you more days with a dollar even four or more days plus multi media then probably less days.With 30cents per day, this may translate to the normal usage for any ordinary user.
The same can be said for 95cents bundles while the $3 bundles may be a real relief for the whole month.The $3 monthly bundle will keep many people connected on the go even after other data hungry app have packed up and just like the facebook bundles for the whole month, it will prove to be much more popular.
Whats your take?
Testing of the package is still ongoing and further updates are to be expected!