Red Bull partners with Vodafone for new network

Red Bull to launch its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Red Bull MOBILE.

Energy drink company Red Bull has partnered with Vodafone Australia to help launch its own mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Red Bull MOBILE.

The agreement will involve Red Bull MOBILE offering its own branded handsets, plans, multimedia services and unlimited access to its services Red Bull TV and the World of Red Bull.

Specialist MVNO service aggregator, Aggregato, will provide retail sales and distribution management and customer service support for the new telco

The company did not detail the launch date of the new telco service, but confirmed it would be this year.

The service will run over Vodafone’s 3G network, which is currently in the process of being upgraded.

In July, Vodafone announced it had wrapped up a three-month network upgrade project involving the installation of new mobile equipment at 49 sites across Newcastle, parts of the Central Coast, and the Hunter.

The company also said it will upgrade its network in Canberra to enable the delivery of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies from a single base station by mid-2012.

In an effort to attract customers to the new service, the telco startup will offer the chance to win tickets to Red Bull events such as the Red Bull X-Fighters freestyle motocross event in Sydney and the opportunity to meet Red Bull athletes.

In August, Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) reported a loss of 375,000 customers so far this year, following customer service and network issues.

VHA said that 347,000 of these customers came from its prepaid and mobile broadband service, as well as users of other mobile companies that ran on the Vodafone Hutchinson network, known as Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO); the remaining 28,000 were post-paid customers.

The telco, a 50:50 joint venture between Hutchison Telecommunications Australia (ASX:HTA) and Vodafone Group, revealed its total customer base stood at 7.2 million — 61.4 per cent of which were on post-paid plans — in its half-year briefing for the six months ended 30 June, 2011.

In related Vodafone news, submarine cable venture Pacific Fibre has a new bandwidth partner, Vodafone New Zealand, with the signing of an undisclosed multi-million dollar 10-year deal between the two companies.

The telco will supply international bandwidth on the Pacific Fibre cable system, which is set to provide 5.12 terabits per second capacity on a 13,600 kilometre link between Sydney, Auckland and Los Angeles in early 2014.

Vodafone NZ chief executive, Russell Stanners, said in a statement that the telco planned to break down the "digital divide" between New Zealand, Australia and the rest of the world.

Follow Tim Lohman on Twitter: @Tlohman

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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