Cell C announced last week that it will be discontinuing Red Bull Mobile as a Cell C branded product as of 31 May 2015. Cell C spokesperson, Karin Fourie stated that the decision to end the partnership was mutual and that:
Existing prepaid, post-paid and hybrid customers will be migrated to similar Cell C tariff plans.
When Red Bull Mobile was launched in South Africa in 2011 it was launched as a Cell C branded product and was not an independent mobile virtual network operator (MVNO). The purpose of the partnership was to use Red Bull’s well-known brand to lure young people to the network and at the same time launch Red Bull as a competitive mobile service provider by using Cell C’s infrastructure. During its run in South Africa it has had many competitive smartphone deals and other mobile data products. But before it was announced that the service will be discontinued, it only had a 3GB data contract, a data bundle and prepaid plans left, indicating that the service might not have been so popular. It was also reported in 2013 that it only had 120 000 subscribers.
This news comes hot on the heels of a new MVNO called me&you Mobile launching in South Africa, which will be using Cell C’s infrastructure to provide its mobile services. However, it is not a Cell C branded product and did not affect Cell C’s decision to discontinue Red Bull Mobile with Fourie stating that:
Red Bull Mobile was a white label product of Cell C and never an MVNO. Red Bull from the onset did not wish to launch an MVNO in South Africa and have not expressed intentions to do so at present. This decision was not based on the launch of MVNOs in South Africa.
The mobile site, The Red Bull Mobile Zone, will still exist and any one can access the mobile website and have access to cool benefits from the World of Red Bull. These benefits include content as well as “real world” benefits according to Fourie.