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.


Comments

    Not only am I not tempted by this 'offer', its doing nothing for clarity in the marketplace. With as many different plans as there are hours in a year, this just adds more noise to the client choice.

    I'm also forced to wonder how customer service calls will be dealt with - pass the buck seems par for the course in this industry.

    Red Bull Mobile is the new face of Grl Mobile. Read it all here http://grlmobile.com/News.aspx

    Whilst Vodafone might be its Achilles heal, the support behind it is already established in Australia. Aggregato runs Grl Mobile purchased I believe a little while ago from Dick Smith (could be wrong).

    I am sure the plans will receive an upgrade, but the value added services is that will eventually have to attract people.

    is the reception any good on red bull mobile???

    Wouldn't matter how good they sound, remember they use the Vodafone network, which will be a problem. Stay away from any carrier which uses Vodafone network.

    Ive been with Vodafone for 6yrs now and have yet to experience coverage problems in and around Perth WA.I guess it depends on where you live.

    A bit late on this one, but for $365 for an entire year of unlimited talk and text, 5gb per month, plus $1 for a half decent phone (HTC Explorer), they look like a great option for a young crowd, or indeed anyone at those prices! If I wasn't on a Telstra contract, I'd give it a shot and cut my bill into a quarter or more. http://www.redbullmobile.com.au/pre-paid/prepaid-plans/

    I can do you that deal one better Gav, mate..

    http://www.groupon.com.au/deals/sydney-premium/red-bull-australia/716001473?nlp=&CID=AU_CRM_1_0_0_78&a=715827996

    but if it runs under the vodafone network, i'm NOT enticed at all - not even with an unlimited supply of red bull - voda SUCKS!

    GREAT COMPANY. Works out to $30 per month unlimited calls. Cheapest around. No coverage problems so far and call centre operators very good. +++

    Ive been using Red Bull for 6 weeks now and its fine when everything is working but the data mode has crashed about 4 times. The last time i had no internet for 2 days and turning the fone off and on didnt help so i will be going back to Amaysim, much more reliable.

    They are crazy to be using Vodafone with all the issues customers have, Optus would have been a better pick.

    Its amazing how many virtual mobile phone operators there are in Australia now, I found a list on Mobile Network Guide - http://www.mobilenetworkguide.com.au/virtual_operators_information.html

    Most seem to use Optus.

    Have been with RBM for over a year. My experience has been mixed at best..
    I went on the 30 day pre pay as a trial which went ok so I pre paid for a year 6 or 7 days prior to my 30 day credit expiring.
    Got a text saying please top up your credit because are coming to the end of your 30 day period so I rang RBM and asked what the story was as I had paid for a year. Was told "all good you received that txt from an auto service don't worry your service will carry on as normal".
    Nope...Without phone for 3 days. I am not popular with my customers who cant contact me....
    This week my 365 day credit is ending so I went to the RBM website 2 days prior to my credit expiry date and was simply going to get another 365 credit. I saw a package deal with a galaxy s2. I already have a s2 but it is pretty bashed up so I decided to get a new one while I was there. How convenient.
    Nope. Was told AFTER purchasing package that my recharge number was being sent out with my phone and as it may take 2 weeks so I would be without service for a week or more.....What a joke...
    24 hours after receiving confirmation of my purchase I receive an email asking me to "provide a government issued photo ID and a utility bill in your name to your address so that we can complete your order. (please scan and email this information) "
    Are you kidding. You want me to send to God knows where my credit card number, drivers licence or passport and a utility bill in my name...As if...... that's how people get there identity stolen...
    I was asked for less info. when I increased my credit card limit by thousands...
    I bought a home theatre package worth 5k with just my credit card. No id.....
    I have been a customer for over a year and have had the same credit card number, phone number, postal address, email account and I confirmed my identity with my 6 digit code ....
    Nope not good enough....
    These people are very frustrating to deal with. It is like talking to a robot..
    A very sorry and scripted robot.......

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