Your choices for prepaid mobile in Australia just got a little narrower. Red Bull Mobile is no longer signing up new customers and will have exited the market altogether within a year.
"As of 1st July 2013, new customers will no longer be able to purchase pre-paid or post-paid tariff plans from Red Bull MOBILE," a notice on the company's site reads. Existing prepaid vouchers need to be activated within 90 days of purchase.
While Red Bull Mobile, which utilised Vodafone's network, was never a highly visible player after its launch in September 2011, it attracted some attention with its 365-day plans, which offered unlimited calls and 5GB of data a month for $365. Those weren't noticeably better value than some month-by-month rivals, but the idea of paying once and forgetting appealed to some customers (and parents). The existence of those plans means the service potentially won't be able to fully wind down until around July 2014.
Red Bull Mobile's other major selling point was unmetered access to Red Bull video content and tickets to Red Bull-sponsored 'experiences'. It also experimented with selling through EB Games outlets.
Red Bull's departure from the market means that Vodafone no longer has any significant MVNO partners that we can think of, with Crazy John's having shut down earlier this year. Update: Fat Duck Tech points out to me that Just Mobile also use Vodafone.
That means the MVNO space is more dominated than ever by brands licensing the Optus network (Virgin, Amaysim, TPG, iiNet, Vaya, Live Connected) though we have seen three notable launches for services based on Telstra's older 3G network in the last year: Kogan, Boost Mobile and ALDI Mobile. Thanks Warren for the pointer!