Redbull Mobile are a new player in the mobile space and have yet to develop a reputation in the market, but I can now tell you from my personal experience, they’re worth a very close look!

Chris did some testing a while back in Sydney and found that (due to the hilly surrounding areas) much like Vodafone, Redbull was a bit hit and miss with the supplied handsets, though the reception was notably better in his iThing.

In my testing, despite the fact that Red Bull is reselling the Vodafone network I’ve actually found that their data speeds were consistently higher than Vodafone. Using voice was an apples oranges to oranges comparison, neither service offered anything over the other.

Pros

The good news:
  • The plans are great value for money
  • Data allowances are very generous
  • Redbull Mobile Portal is fantastic!

Cons

The not-so good news
  • They’re running off the Vodafone network
  • Poor range of phones to choose from: Samsung Galaxy S II is the pick of the range
  • Lack of information regarding your account at sign up

What we like

Frankly there’s a lot to like about Redbull Mobile, their plans are way out there with the value for money stakes over the bigger names. They’re pushing the boundaries and blurring the lines between post and prepaid customers where other carriers simply offer different plans depending on which way you go. Redbull are offering the same plan with the same inclusions, with the only option being whether you pre-pay, or receive a bill on account. This approach offers people the flexibility of changing plans if their needs change or the knowledge that they just roll over from month to month.

I also found that Redbull Mobile’s support via email was outstanding. I sent in a support email and had a response that was laid out in a coherent way with the information I asked for, written so that a “less technically inclined” person than myself could understand it, but not so as to offend people who know what’s what.

You can SMS the word BAL to 126 172 to receive a free SMS with your current account balance. Or You can call us on 1300 475 475 and our Automated system can tell you your balance Or You can log into your account online here: https://securea.redbullmobile.com.au/CRMRBM/

The mobile portal available to Redbull customers is really well delivered. It’s been setup so that you’re working on your screen with a one-touch interface, and the portal has special offers available to you that are either not available outside the Redbull Network or are early access exclusives for Redbull mobile customers.

What can be improved

Being honest though… Vodafone (being the underlying network carrier that Redbull uses) don’t have the best reputation going right now. They are working hard to improve this though and recently while testing the Redbull network, I had coverage in an area where Telstra customers did not! I don’t know who was more astounded by this, the Telstra customers I was with at the time or the Vodafone social media team. Overall, for metro-dwelling mobile users who seldom venture into the wild it’s certainly going to offer you a coverage to suit your needs, but nothing more.

Conclusion

Telstra have the widest coverage, and there’s no disputing that. The combination of the work that Vodafone are doing on their network and using an 850Mhz handset (Galaxy Nexus) I found that even through the Barossa Valley I had reasonable coverage when close to the major towns out there as well as some coverage through the Adelaide Hills which historically speaking has been a total deadspot for anything other than Telstra. Add to this there has been some reasonable data speeds up to around 9Mbps downstream to the device I’ve been using.

Vodafone have some good consumer plans, and Optus are somewhere in the middle with decent coverage and decent pricing for consumers. This in mind, there’s certainly room for another smaller carrier in there shaking things up and Redbull are doing it. The biggest issue for my mind is that they don’t appear to be actively pursuing current phones to offer clients, as contrasted with the major carriers that subsidise handset costs to bring you to their network.

This can be a bit of a sticking point for some – do you

  1. Stick with your old handset and save for a new one outright?
  2. Contract to a major carrier who can subsidise your device over 24 months?
  3. Wear the cost of a new handset immediately? (not viable for many people)

There’s no easy answer, but there is one thing to bear in mind — while you might have to purchase a current-model handset if that’s what you’re after, you’re likely to make some real savings with the low cost of Redbull’s plans, so a bit of up-front pain might be a longer-term saving anyway.

So while Redbull are making a splash and certainly worth a look if you spend 90% or more of your time in Metro or fringe areas and want good value for money, until they establish themselves with a good supply of current devices to offer clients they’re not going to be a big player.

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Thanks: Redbull Mobile Australia.
  • swilbs

    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…….

  • Ray of Perth

    No International calling included ! No use to me at all. Just like Amaysim – no use for international calling.

  • Taleim

    I tried red bull earlier in the year, on both my galaxy s2, and my girlfriend’s xperia x10. It worked great – until i tried to use data. I literally couldn’t get data to work. the apn settings were correct, as pushed out by network. I must have had 10 calls to tech support who were totally stumped – indeed very friendly – but unable to help. I replaced both sim cards, no luck. Put a telstra sim in both phones, no issues with data anymore. I’m in the CBD in melbourne btw, and tried all around melbourne, might ocassionaly work for a few seconds before dropping again. Maybe it’s improved, but in march it was unusable.

    • http://ausdroid.net/ Chris (Deputy Editor)

      That’s a rather odd issue. While I had some problems when I reviewed RBMA in Sydney, it certainly didn’t behave in the way you’ve described — data worked, it just hiccuped occasionally.

  • http://twitter.com/nevetsg nevetsg

    Whilst these rates are very good, the TPG $1 plan works for me. I end up paying maybe $7 a month. But I am in no way a high user.

    • Greg

      Yep – tiny access and pay-as-you-go is definitely the best. I pay $9-14 depending on how heavy the month is with Exetel.

  • vijay alapati

    9 mbps download and u say its reasonable….r u kidding….its the best 3g speed u can get after telstra

    • http://www.facebook.com/brianhislop Brian Hislop

      “up to around 9Mbps downstream” … I expect his screenshot was his best effort … not the norm!

      • Phil Tann

        norm was about 6 down 3 up

    • Doggunn

      Of course it’s reasonable. How fast do you need speeds on your non-tethered mobile phone to be?