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Telecel follows rivals in launching WhatsApp bundles

Telecel follows rivals in launching WhatsApp bundles.

Zimbabwe’s second largest mobile network Telecel has followed rival networks in introducing bundled packages catering to instant messaging service WhatsApp.

According a Telecel statement, subscribers can use the social network for ‘free’ as long as they pay an upfront price.

Both prepaid and postpaid subscribers have the option to purchase one of three WhatsApp bundle packages.

The daily bundle, for instance, costs 29 cents and gives subscribers uncapped access to WhatsApp for 24 hours.

Meanwhile, the weekly bundle, which is valid for seven days costs 89 cents.

In addition, subscribers also receive 5MB bonus data for the first 1,000 subscribers who sign up for this bundle.

Lastly, the monthly bundle, which costs $2,85 and is valid for 30 days, comes with 20 MB of bonus data for the first 500 subscribers.

"The WhatsApp bundles allow unlimited messaging. Subscribers can chat, send videos and share voice notes without having to worry about running out of data. Even if the ordinary data has been used up, it will still be possible to use WhatsApp," said Octivius Kahiya in the statement.

Instant messaging service WhatsApp has become very popular among subscribers in the southern African country.

Last month ITWeb Africa reported that high data demands from rival telco, Econet Wireless, were driven by WhatsApp.

Econet Wireless, which is Zimbabwe’s largest mobile network with 8.8 million subscribers, was first to introduce unlimited WhatsApp bundles.

According to Don Bowman, the chief technology officer for networking equipment company Sandvine, the introduction of unlimited WhatsApp bundles by Econet “experienced tremendous adoption by Econet subscribers,” with WhatsApp now accounting for “more than 23% of network activity".

"Many subscribers are using first generation smartphones and talk and text plans. This bundle has opened up an opportunity for Econet to launch service plans that incentivise subscribers to move to data-driven services that are affordable to users and profitable to the network," Bowman said in a public statement.

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