Earlier today we attended the very elaborate launch of mobile operator Econet’s new service called the Econet Connected Car which is part of a new range of products that Econet is calling Connected Lifestyles.
The main delivery was by Dorothy Zimuto, the COO for Econet Connected Car, who outlined Econet’s ambition to ensure that most of the over 1.2 million cars in Zimbabwe would be connected within a few months.
The Econet Connected Car is basically a car tracking product. It offers fleet management services through value added services such as the Connected Car Mobile Application which is available for download from Google Play and the Apple store.
At face value this looks like another attempt from Econet to exploit its network to shore up revenue opportunities in unrelated segments. We’ve already seen Econet’s investments in health and education in the past 4 months and now they are wading into car tracking and fleet management.
To the operator’s credit though, in a world where telecoms revenue need out of the box thinking (can’t only rely on EcoCash apparently) the service is a quick way to push an old service (guys like Trac-king have been on this tip for ages) with the strength of its “Eco” brand. However one wonders what will be left if the telecoms giant has its hand in every sector.
The product is no doubt focused at fleet management, judging from its selling points for vehicle monitoring which is always a concern for any handler of a fleet of sorts.
Individuals are also being catered for though.Through Econet Connected Car an individual user can get the personal vehicle management service option which enables the vehicle to carry out regular self-diagnosis and offer reports to its owner. Other functions include geo fencing and driver habit monitoring.
The service has once of connection fees of $50, $100 and $199 for consumer, corporate and personal packages with each carrying monthly costs of $20.