Red Bull Mobile Network Raises Many Unanswered Questions

Chances are you think of Red Bull as an energy drink, but in the near future it will also be a mobile network brand (running on Vodafone). Adding more mobile options is generally something we’re in favour of here at Lifehacker Towers, but we don’t yet know anywhere near enough about this one to make a call on it.

Red Bull will be setting up as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). If you’re not across how the MVNO concept, check out our full Lifehacker 101 guide, but essentially it just means selling access to an existing mobile network under a different brand name and price structure. This can be a separate brand owned by the same provider (which is what Optus does with Virgin Mobile and Boost, and Vodafone does with Crazy John’s), or it can be an entirely separate provider (which is what Amaysim does via Optus, or Vodafone via Transact and now Red Bull).

Red Bull has announced its intentions, but hasn’t specified a launch date or pricing. Without knowing what is being charged, there’s not too much concrete to say about the service, but there are a couple of warning flags. The first and obvious one is the use of Vodafone, which has the worst reputation for coverage and performance of the three Australian mobile networks. The company has been investing heavily in network improvements, but the results to date have still been mixed.

We don’t have pricing details, but the press release announcing the deal does offer a couple of other angles:

Red Bull MOBILE customers will also be treated to exclusive ticket opportunities to both Red Bull and partner events, such as the upcoming Red Bull X-Fighters freestyle motocross event in Sydney, and offered the opportunity to meet Red Bull athletes. A third party, Aggregato, will provide retail sales and distribution management and customer service support for Red Bull MOBILE.

That might sound like good news if you’re a fan of the extreme sports Red Bull sponsors (unlimited viewing of content on the Red Bull TV web channel is also included). However, I’ve generally taken the view that being offered potential discounts to upcoming events as part of a mobile service isn’t as helpful as being offered actual up-front savings on the service itself. The farming out of customer support is also not ideal; that means that there are two layers in place before you can actually get to the network provider if there is a problem. So my overall reaction is pretty muted, but it really will depend on the pricing structure.

Tempted by the thought of a Red Bull network? More likely to buy into a Mother-branded option? Tell us in the comments.

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