Southern Phone Mobile Plans Review
Australia is known for being a land of vast, empty plains and remote communities. While Aussies located in the main cities can enjoy mobile coverage and fast internet speeds, those in our rural and remote areas haven’t been as lucky. That’s where Southern Phone has really stepped up.
Southern Phone’s main focus is on providing phone and internet services to regional Australia. While the telco had previously offered plans on the Telstra and Optus networks, it has shifted focus to offer a range of month-to-month and 12-month plans on the Optus 4G network only.
The telco was founded in 2002, after receiving a grant of just under $5 million from the Australian Government’s Networking the Nation scheme. The aim was to provide affordable options for Australians in regional communities. Southern Phone is dedicated to only allowing local councils to become shareholders in the company, meaning those dividends go back into helping the community. So just what does Southern Phone have to offer when it comes to mobile phone plans? In this Southern Phone review, we’ll take a look at what you can expect when it comes to plans, prices and overall value for money.
Southern Phone plans at a glance
While Southern Phone’s main emphasis is on SIM-only plans, the telco does offer a selection of mobile phones, including Samsung. You can choose to buy your phone outright (which then requires you to select the a plan to bundle with it), or you can select your phone repayment period and bundle with a plan of your choice.
Operating on the Optus 3G and 4G networks, Southern Phone’s postpaid plans are available without a lock-in contract. There are four month-to-month SIM plans on offer, starting at $10 for 2GB of data, and going up to $45 for 80GB of data, all with unlimited standard national calls and SMS.
The following table shows all published Southern Phone postpaid plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
What does Southern Phone offer?
While Southern Phone doesn’t offer much in the way of entertainment bonuses, that isn’t what this telco is about. The emphasis is on providing service to regional communities often neglected by other telcos. Because of that, the plans are kept simple, with unlimited talk and text along with a small selection of mobile phones.
If you want to keep in touch with friends and family overseas, selected plans do include credit for international calling, with rates available on the Southern Phone website. While global roaming can be switched on, Southern Phone does advise against this and recommends buying a SIM card overseas as these roaming rates can be very expensive.
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Southern Phone network and coverage
Using the Optus 3G and 4G networks means that Southern Phone can reach around 98.5% of the population. Optus has also committed to building more towers and expanding its coverage to regional areas as part of the Australian Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program. This means more regional areas should see stronger and more consistent mobile coverage. To check the network coverage in your area, visit the Southern Phone website.
Features and bonuses
Southern Phone keeps phone plans simple, but there are plenty of choices when it comes to postpaid plans and plans with handsets.
- Unlimited national calls and SMS: All of Southern Phone’s plans come with unlimited standard national calls and SMS. This is great news if you don’t use much data, as you can opt for a lower plan without being restricted on calls and text.
- Freedom to change plans: The no lock-in plans allow you to change your service at any time with no charge.
- International calls: Several SIM only plans include a set amount of international call credit, starting at $50 and going up to $500 on select plans.
- Phones on plans: As one of the few smaller telcos offering mobile handsets with plans, Southern Phone is a good option if you want a new device, but don’t want to pay the prices charged by the big three telcos. You can also buy a smartphone outright with Southern Phone and then bundle with a plan, which isn’t often available through other telcos.
Southern Phone month-to-month mobile plans
Southern Phone’s month-to-month postpaid plans include unlimited standard national calls and text, with data inclusions increasing with each price tier. The Small plan includes 2GB of data, the Medium includes 20GB, the Large comes with 40GB, and the Extra Large has 80GB of data included.
Southern Phone plans with phones
If you’re getting a new handset through Southern Phone, you’ll get to choose your phone plan from above SIM-only options. Your monthly bill will include the device payments and phone plan costs, however you will be on a 24-month contract.
The following table shows published Southern Phone postpaid plans for the Samsung Galaxy S20 on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost from lowest to highest. Use our comparison tool to see plans from a range of other providers. This is a selection of products with links to a referral partner.
Southern Phone contact details/customer support
Need some help with your Southern Phone plan or service? The telco offers several contact and support options, including:
- General customer support: 13 14 64
- Live chat on the Southern Phone website
- The contact form on the Southern Phone website
- The Southern Phone Facebook page
- Southern Phone app for both iPhone and Android
How does Southern Phone compare?
Southern Phone isn’t the only telco offering Optus network coverage at lower prices. The following providers also use parts of the Optus 3G and 4G networks.
Is Southern Phone a good deal?
Southern Phone’s commitment to providing mobile service to regional areas is a noble cause, especially its dedication to keeping the company regionally owned and operated. The telco provides choice to those in regional areas, where once there wasn’t much choice at all.
The lack of international text inclusions could be a negative for some, along with the lack of global roaming options. While many people do tend to buy a SIM overseas, it’s handy to have the option to use your existing SIM and phone number while you travel, so you should consider how much of an impact this might have on any future travel plans. However, you can still keep in touch with friends and family overseas if you choose the right plan with international call credit included.
If you’re looking for simple postpaid phone plans with decent talk, text and data inclusions, Southern Phone does have some good options to choose from, especially if you’re looking for a new handset. But it’s important to do your research before jumping into a new plan. If you live outside of the major cities, you might find there are more providers available, which gives you even more choice than ever.
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About the author of this page
This page was written and is regularly updated by Canstar Blue’s Telco Editor, Tara Donnelly. Having spent over seven years writing for and editing telco comparison websites, she’s an expert in all things phone & internet, including NBN plans, wireless technology, the latest mobile devices and how to find the best deal for your family. She loves to highlight the next best deals, while also flagging the things you need to be aware of.
What do customers think about Southern Phone mobile plans?
In 2020, Australians gave Southern Phone 4 out of 5 stars for Overall Customer Satisfaction in postpaid mobile plans.