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 Green plans are available as 12-month or month-to-month plans. There are six 12-month plans, starting at $9 for 1GB of data, and going up to $60 for 80GB of data and all with unlimited standard national calls and SMS.
If you’d prefer the flexibility of a month-to-month plan, there are five options to choose from, but you’ll get less data for your money than if you commit for the 12 months. These plans start at $20 for 2.5GB of data and go up to $60 for 40GB, with all plans including unlimited standard national calls and SMS.
The following table shows all published Southern Phone 12-month 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, there are no international SMS inclusions on these plans, however SMS rates are available on the Southern Phone website, however international call inclusions are available on some 12-month plans. 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 Southern Phone can reach around 98.5% of the population. Optus has also committed to building more towers and expanding 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, and if you’re on a 12-month plan, you can change to a higher value option at any time at no charge.
- International calls: Some 12-month 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
The month-to-month Green postpaid plans include unlimited standard national calls and text, with data inclusions increasing with each price tier. The Small plan includes 2.5GB of data, the Medium includes 8GB, the Large comes with 15GB, the X Large has 25GB and the XX Large has 40GB of data included.
Southern Phone 12-month mobile plans
If you’re willing to commit to a 12-month plan, you’ll get a little more value for your money and six options to choose from. While all 12-month plans include unlimited standard national calls and text, you’ll get more data on these plans than the month-to-month equivalents. Data inclusions start at 1GB on the X Small plan, 5GB on the Small plan, 18GB on the Medium plan, 35GB on the Large plan, 50GB on the X Large plan and a generous 80GB on the XX Large plan. There is also international call credit included on the Medium, Large, X Large and XX Large plans.
If you’re getting a new handset through Southern Phone, you’ll get to choose your phone plan from the 12-month plans with your monthly bill including the device payments and phone plan costs, however you will be on a 24-month contract.
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
- Contact form
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SouthernPhone/
- 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 12-month 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.