South African wireless users to see 'Red'; MVNO bullish about prospects

31 Jan 2011

Cell C, South Africa’s third largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, has announced that it has teamed up with energy drink manufacturer Red Bull, to allow the drinks company to piggyback on its network to launch a new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service. Branded ‘Red Bull Mobile’, the new service will be officially unveiled on 8 February at a media event in Johannesburg. Details regarding pricing and compatible devices have yet to be disclosed. A Cell C press release claimed that the partnership would add ‘an exhilarating new energy to the South African mobile environment.’

TeleGeography notes that Red Bull Mobile is not the first MVNO to utilise Cell C’s network; in 2006 Virgin Mobile South Africa, a joint venture between Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Cell C, launched to much fanfare, only to experience limited growth. In 2010 the MVNO conceded that its original aim of achieving a 10% of market share was unrealistic, promptly lowering its target to 1%, before abandoning its market share goals completely.

South Africa, Cell C