Few months back, Zimbabweans saw a major bounce back of mobile news service, which had been abruptly terminated by service providers due to technical issues, and one may still wonder, who really needs this service if I can access my physical newspaper daily or better off online. Zimpapers drive towards mobile move
As millions are slowly ditching the hard copy for online news and social media, Zimpapers team has invented smart ways to reach out through the most trying times.
The latest offering on the market is the Zimpapers Mobile News platform which was launched recently through a partnership deal between Rubium Zimbabwe. According to Zimpapers, the innovative technology platform enables Zimpapers newspapers and radio content to be accessed by mobile network subscribers.
By Deputy Editor
Zimpapers provides news onto the platform which connects to the mobile networks. For instance, a subscriber can dial #34445# or send an SMS with text “news” to 34445 to register for the service.
Here is to why the Mobile News initiative could be the next big thing for Zimpapers: First and foremost, the digital world is a game of numbers and once you have the numbers, you are assured of widespread coverage and your message reaches its intended consumers.
According to Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (POTRAZ) 2016 reports, 95 percent of the Zimbabwean population have access to mobile services. Without even talking about internet compatible smartphones, at least every Zimbabwean has access to a mobile device, be it a ‘Mbudzi’ as non internet friendly phones are called in Zimbabwe.
This means even those in the remotest parts of the country as long as they have access to a functional cell phone network can access mobile news in the comfort of their homes. There is an ongoing debate on Cell or Mobile Phones overtaking the Radio as the medium for Africa, the debate can be heavily supported by the Zimbabwean set-up where even donkeys have cellphones.
Another issue that makes Mobile News the noblest idea in Zimbabwe is the prevailing ecenomic crisis whereby majority of the population survives on less than a $1 per day and buying a newspaper is proving to be a luxury of humongous proportions.
The subscriber mobile account is then debited and the news is delivered daily. The subscriber can stop the subscription any time. This a new generation platform with world-class benefits, customer experience and choices for customers.
This means for only $3, one can access mobile news throughout the month without even worrying about his of her finances. The agreement is structured to cover all Zimpapers publications which can be packaged to offer affordable choices to different market segments. For instance, there can be subscription for Herald, Chronicle, Sunday Mail, Kwayedaza and HMetro. The initial launch was with The Herald with the other papers set to come on stream in later stages.
The amount of news and general content consumed through the mobile phone instead of radio and print media is increasing rapidly. POTRAZ reported that the 2016 total telecommunications revenue was $983 million from $12.8 million and 305 720 active mobile and fixed lines subscribers respectively.
Mobile news knows no boundary and by investing that area, Zimpapers stands a greater chance of increasing its dominance as the widely read newspaper in the country.
According to the 2012 census, Zimbabwe has a 14 million population and of the 14 million, POTRAZ 95% of them have access or own cell phones this means almost everyone will read Zimpapers news sources on a daily basis.