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Changes to Optus mobile network services

Our mobile network operator Optus have recently made some changes to their network offerings. To make it easy, we’ve outlined the changes that may impact you, which will take effect November 2022.


Premium SMS

Premium SMS has been a way of paying a third-party company not related to Southern Phone, through your bill for mobile content and for other goods and services. Commonly this service was used for competitions, TV show voting or information services (i.e., transport updates and weather alerts).

Due to a significant decline in the volume of Premium SMS transactions, Optus have decided to remove this service from their mobile network. This means that you will no longer be able to use Premium SMS services.


Mobile Video Calling

Customers with compatible 3G devices (Samsung Galaxy S6 and older) were able to make and receive calls to and from other compatible devices, at fixed national and international rates. However, Optus will no longer be supporting video calling and the feature will be shut down on these mobile devices only.

This is due to the low penetration of compatible devices and the popular use of other messaging and/or video calling applications, such as WhatsApp and Messenger. The use of these alternative type of applications including Facetime available on iPhones will not be impacted, as they run off data, and are not provided by Optus.


What do you need to do now?

There’s nothing you need to do. However, if the video calling service was something you used, we do recommend downloading an application that supports video calls for future use.  

Telstra Wholesale exit of Premium SMS

Unfortunately on 01/11/2020, Telstra will discontinue to provide Premium SMS service to their wholesale service providers.

What is Premium SMS

The Premium SMS feature allows you to access a variety of Premium SMS services from third party content providers. Premium rate short message services (SMS) allow content providers to offer value-added services to mobile phone customers using more memorable numbers. Services include specialist weather information, competition entry, ring-tones and wallpapers. These services have been offered in Australia in the number ranges beginning with 19. Examples of these types include: Sunrise Cash Cow

Why is Telstra Wholesale Exiting Premium SMS?

Premium SMS service numbers and usage have been in rapid decline with customers using other internet based services as alternatives. The infrastructure used to support Premium SMS for Telstra Wholesale customers is ageing and does not justify further investment. 

Which mobile networks does Southern Phone use?

Can I keep my existing number when I transfer my service to Southern Phone?

Yep! You can bring your phone number across to Southern Phone from another company.

For Pre-Paid Mobile Numbers:

We will need the Date of Birth of the person who first registered your number with your pre-paid provider.

For Post-Paid Mobile Numbers:

We will need the current Account Number used by your old provider, this can generally be located on the front page of your latest bill.

What is an MMS message?

An MMS is a media message where users send any combination of text, photos, picture, videos and sounds to other phones or email recipients.

The maximum size of an MMS is 300KB per message, however, some handsets may have further size limitations. Consult the handset user guide or manufacturer’s website for further information.

An MMS is free to receive and costs a minimum of 77c to send. Video messages incur additional charges.

To utilise MMS messaging, you must have mobile data enabled on your service and your handset. Mobile Data is automatically enabled upon activation of a Service, if you have not requested it to be disabled then you already have it and may need to check your handset settings to ensure mobile data is turned on if you are having trouble sending/receiving MMS messages.

VoLTE: What is it?

VoLTE or Voice over LTE is technology that enables voice calls on the Optus 4G network.

It delivers some great improvements to voice calling. You can experience faster call connection times compared to 3G, and talk and browse at the same time using 4G. Plus, just like our 3G network, 4G voice calls are high definition (HD) for sharp, clear call quality.

How do I disconnect my mobile service?

Before you disconnect your Mobile Service, there is some important information you should know.

  • Please note that when you disconnect your number it will no longer be available for you to use.
  • Once you disconnect you will not be able to transfer the service to another provider.
  • If you are under contract for this service a Break of Contract fee will apply.

If you would like to disconnect your service, please get in contact with us and we will arrange this for you.

You will be charged up until the disconnection date of your service and anything you have paid in advance will be credited back on your final statement. Please see our Billing FAQ's for more information.

How much mobile data do I need?

Knowing how much mobile data you need can be tricky without knowing how much you use – and while every session is different, it’s important that you understand how much data you could be using.

Radio Streaming
A radio stream can use approximately 2MB of data per minute, depending on the quality of the audio stream.

The average YouTube video uses 4MB of data per minute on the default video quality (480p). You can change the video quality to increase or decrease your data consumption – remembering the better the quality, the more data will be used.

Google Maps
10 minutes will use approximately 6MB, however, this may vary depending on the size of the map. Longer distances will use more data as more information will be loaded. More data will be used when launching the app if you have any saved locations or routes.

Depending on the type of content that appears in your newsfeed, Facebook will use roughly 1.5MB to 2.6MB per minute. Text and photo content will use less data than video streaming, and the quality of photos and videos will also have an impact.

1 hour of Netflix on the default video quality can use 1GB of data (remember, that’s GB, not MB). You can change the video quality to increase or decrease your data consumption – remembering the better the quality, the more data will be used.

Apps and Games
Apps and games vary greatly in size and should be checked for exact details prior to downloading. Remember whilst Apps might be free (no $ value) through the App/Play Store, they do require mobile data to be downloaded to your device and may require mobile data to use them.

Music tracks tend to be about 5MB each but can vary depending on the quality and length of the track. Using music streaming apps, such as Spotify, will also use data on adverts.

Web Browsing
Web browsing generally uses 10MB every 10 minutes. However, this varies depending on which websites you browse (e.g. an image- or video-heavy website will use more data). Whether or not you are using a mobile-friendly version of the website will also impact data consumption.

Reading and replying to 200 emails is about 5MB. Emails with attachments will increase the amount of mobile data used.

What is a premium SMS?

Please Note: Premium SMS / Call is no longer available on either our Telstra or Optus network SIM plans.

A Premium SMS / Call is generally a payment option for content and mobile services offered by companies other than Southern Phone.

What is mobile data?

Mobile data is the way your mobile accesses the internet when it's not connected to Wi-Fi. Mobile data is automatically turned on when your service is activated.

Your Southern Phone mobile plan will include an allocation of mobile data. If you use more than your included data during your billing cycle, we’ll give you another 1GB for $10, up to a maximum of 3GB
on one service per month. You will then be charged for casual data as per your plan. Your service will then be restricted. Extra data will expire at the end of your billing cycle and you’ll automatically be moved back to your plan’s original inclusions and charges.

SMS alerts
We will send you free SMS alerts to notify you when you reach 50%, 85% and 100% of your monthly data allowance and for each data boost of 1GB up to 3GB. There may be a delay of up to 48 hours with these SMS alerts.

If you would like mobile data turned off, just let us know and we will arrange this for you. You can also turn Mobile Data off on your handset, refer to your mobile manual for assistance on how to do this. However, you won't be able to use apps that require the internet, or send and receive MMS messages.

Need to check how much data you have used? Simply get in touch with our friendly team, and we will be able to assist or check online via our customer portal.