Compare Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

Matt Sayer 30 May 2017 NEWS

If the wired life has got you down, Southern Phone has a few mobile broadband plans to pick you back up.

What you need to know about Southern Phone mobile broadband plans

Regional Aussies don't have it easy when it comes to getting online. Network coverage outside the five capital cities is limited, thanks largely due to the harshness of the Australian landscape. Laying down the cabling for fixed broadband is a slow, expensive process, and this is reflected in the high costs of many regional broadband plans.

This is where Southern Phone comes in. Leveraging the extensive coverage of the Optus 3G network, the community-focused telco offers a range of mobile broadband plans aimed squarely at Aussies dissatisfied with the fixed-line services available to them. Whether you live on the shores of Broome or in the bush around Woomera, Southern Phone has a plan to get you online.

What are the different Southern Phone mobile broadband plans?

Mobile broadband plans with Southern Phone come in two forms: dedicated mobile broadband packages and SIM Only plans with both mobile broadband and a traditional mobile phone service bundled together.

For the dedicated mobile broadband plans, four options are available. The S plan comes with 1GB of data to use a month, the M plan comes with 4GB, the L plan comes with 7GB, and the XL plan packs 10GB. Each plan includes a 3G USB modem for use with compatible computers and laptops. Unfortunately, these plans do not support phones or tablets.

If you don't want to lug a laptop around with you, Southern Phone's SIM Only plans support any 3G-capable mobile device ranging from smartphones to mobile hotspots. Southern Phone splits these plans into the Southern Value tier and the Southern Unlimited tier. The former includes two options: one with $200 of talk and text credit and 500MB of data to use each month, and one with $300 of talk and text credit and 750MB of data to use each month. The Southern Unlimited tier contains two unlimited talk-and-text plans with 2GB and 3GB of data per month respectively.

When choosing between the dedicated mobile broadband and SIM Only plans, you'll want to keep in mind the different minimum contract lengths. SIM Only plans operate on a month-to-month basis, and you can cancel your service at no cost any time you like. Dedicated mobile broadband plans are only available on fixed 24-month contracts.

Internet speed on all Southern Phone's mobile broadband plans is dependent on the strength of the 3G signal in the area you're accessing it from. In theory, the 3G network supports a maximum of 3.6Mbps, but factors such as your distance from the nearest 3G antenna, any physical obstructions between you and that antenna and weather conditions like storms and cloud cover will affect your speed.

How much do Southern Phone mobile broadband plans cost?

Southern Phone's mobile broadband plans aren't the cheapest on the market, but the telco does share its profits with local councils throughout regional Australia in an effort to help build their communities. Whether that's worth the premium is up to you.

Starting with the dedicated mobile broadband plans, you'll be looking at $29.95 a month for the 1GB S Plan, $39.95 a month for the 4GB M plan, $49.95 a month for the 7GB L plan, and $69.95 a month for the 10GB XL plan. Since these plans are only available on 24-month contracts, you'll also want to bear in mind the early termination fee for cancelling your service before the two years are up. This fee is $12.50 multiplied by the number of months left in your contract.

Moving onto the SIM Only plans, the Southern Value tier will run you $20 a month for $200 of talk and text with 500MB of data, and $25 a month for $300 of talk and text with 750MB of data. In the Southern Unlimited tier, the 2GB plan will cost you $35 a month, while the 3GB plan will set you back $40 a month. All SIM Only plans also come with a one-off $20 SIM fee when you first sign up.

Last of all, any time you go over your monthly data limit, Southern Phone will charge you excess usage fees. On dedicated mobile broadband plans, excess data is charged at 15 cents per MB once you go over your limit. On SIM Only plans, Southern Phone will charge you $10 per GB for the first 3GB over your limit. Beyond that 3GB, you'll be charged at 5 cents per MB.

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