Today, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe announced in a public notice that as the Ecolife agreement with Trustco has expired, the mobile operator is unable to continue offering the mobile life insurance product. Econet says it will honor any claims from beneficiaries entitled to the cover as at midnight 17 February 2012.
Here’s an extract from the public notice:
All Econet Wireless (private) Limited customers who were subscribed to the Ecolife product are hereby notified that the agreement between Econet and its technical partners, Trusto Mobile (Pty) Limited and First mutual Life Assurance Company (Private) Limited has expired. Accordingly Econet is unable to continue to offer the Ecolife product.
Ecolife was launched back in October 2010 and in just seven months Econet had managed to sign up some 1.6 million subscribers to the service. But the mobile operator had a fallout with its technical (Namibian Trustco Mobile) partner soon after with the two companies accusing each other of breach of contract. The two went to court and essentially, Econet lost. But it didn’t lose. It’s Trustco and the subscribers that did.
Nothing from all this says Econet will not be launching its own life insurance product, the very thing Trustco sought an injunction against. Today’s notice may just be the first step in a carefully crafted strategy to replace Ecolife with an in-house developed product.
Trustco Mobile is the mobile division of JSE listed Trustco Group Holdings.