Cell C ending Red Bull Mobile partnership

Johannesburg - Mobile network Cell C plans to stop selling Red Bull Mobile products on May 31 2015.

Red Bull Mobile was launched in South Africa in 2011 in partnership with Cell C. The partnership, which leveraged the energy drink’s brand, was planned to offer South Africans competitive mobile prices.

Cell C then relaunched Red Bull Mobile in 2013 following a lackluster performance of the energy drink affiliated cellphone service. Reports in 2013 indicated that Red Bull Mobile only had 120 000 customers.

Subsequently, Cell C has confirmed that it’s ending its Red Bull Mobile partnership.

“Cell C and Red Bull have mutually agreed to focus on different strategies, hence the conclusion of the partnership,” Karin Fourie, Cell C’s executive head of communications, told Fin24 in an emailed response to questions.

“Existing prepaid, postpaid and hybrid customers will be migrated to similar Cell C tariff plans,” Fourie added.

Cell C has declined to reveal what Red Bull Mobile's latest user numbers are.

However, Fourie said that the Red Bull Mobile Zone will still exist. This zone includes offerings such as the "World of Red Bull", which has the likes of content “benefits”.

As the Red Bull Mobile partnership is set to come to an end, Cell C has also entered into a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement with new SA telecoms service me&you.

The me&you mobile service launched on Monday and it uses the Cell C network.

Fin24 asked Cell C whether the launch of me&you had any impact on the decision to end its Red Bull Mobile partnership.

Cell C, though, said this is not the case.

“Red Bull Mobile was a white label product of Cell C and never an MVNO,” Fourie told Fin24.

“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 SA,” Fourie added.

Red Bull Mobile also offers telecom services in Austria, Belgium and Poland. However, Red Bull Mobile has also exited from other markets such as Australia.

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