- Unlimited data, unlimited calls and texts
- Great value for what’s included
- Straightforward plan lineup - just one plan
- Environmentally friendly telco
- Add on packs for International/roaming inclusions
- Plan pause feature
- Data speed capped at 20Mbps
- Only one plan available
- Felix is a TPG Telecom/Vodafone sub brand
- They use the Vodafone 3G/4G network
- Felix Mobile is fully digital, so the entire sign up process is done through their app
- Felix offer only one plan and it is prepaid at $35 per month
- Felix plan includes unlimited data at speeds of up to 20Mbps
- Felix is certified carbon neutral, they operate on 100% renewable energy, and they plant a tree for each month you’re an active subscriber
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After a long drawn out battle with the ACCC, a federal court allowed the $15bn Vodafone and TPG merger to proceed in 2020. The newly merged entity took on the name TPG Telecom, and became the third largest telco in Australia.
Following the merger, we saw TPG Telecom make a number of moves. For one, Vodafone continue to operate with their brand name in Australia, and their 5G network began rolling out despite falling behind Optus and Telstra.
But there was another significant move – Felix Mobile, a new TPG Telecom sub brand, were launched in November 2020. Felix Mobile join Lebara, TPG, iiNet and others as part of the ever-growing collection of TPG Telecom sub brands. They use the Vodafone 3G/4G network like other mobile brands under TPG Telecom, but they are unique for a number of reasons:
- Felix Mobile are a fully digital mobile phone company
- They target environmentally-conscious Australians with a carbon neutral approach
- They only offer one SIM only plan so far
- They are one of only two telcos to offer a SIM only plan with real unlimited data.
As a major telco’s sub-brand, Felix Mobile competes with Optus’ newly launched Gomo, and Telstra’s Belong and Boost. These sub-brands are like MVNOs (Mobile Virtual Network Operators), offering cheap, straightforward SIM plans to give customers alternatives to their parent telco’s pricey and complicated offers.
In this article, we’ll tell you all about Felix Mobile’s SIM only plan, and compare it to similar offers from other telcos to help you choose the best fit for your needs.
Felix Mobile offer a single plan right now, and it costs $35 per month. This makes choosing or avoiding Felix a lot simpler than normal – with just one plan to choose from, you can easily tell whether or not you they are right for you.
Here’s a look at the key features of Felix Mobile’s SIM only plan:
- Fully digital
Felix Mobile is a digital telco. That means you won’t find traditional brick-and-mortar Felix stores where you can walk-in and purchase a plan or product. Instead, Felix Mobile plans are bought on their app – download the app for Android or iOS, sign up for their plan, wait 1-3 days for your SIM card to be delivered, scan the SIM card with your app and activate it with a new number or port over your old number – all on the app without ever interacting with another human.
- Prepaid with a full month expiry
Felix plan is a prepaid SIM only plan with no lock-in contracts or exit fees, using the full Vodafone 3G/4G network. The Vodafone network only cover 96 percent of the Australian population, which isn’t the best when compared to Telstra (99.4 percent) and Optus (98.8 percent). However, unlike many other telcos’ prepaid plans which have a 28-day expire, a Felix recharge will last you the entire month just like a postpaid plan. But keep in mind that your Felix plan will renew automatically, so if you decide to cancel, try to do so before your next month begins.
- Unlimited data
Perhaps the most unique feature of Felix Mobile’s SIM plan is that it includes unlimited data. This is the first time we’ve seen a mobile plan with unlimited data in over a decade. However, speeds can’t exceed 20Mbps, but that’s more than fast enough and we’ll tell you why later in this review.
- Unlimited voice, SMS, and MMS
You’ll also get unlimited standard national calls, texts, and MMS within Australia. Although this has quickly become expected in plans around this price range, it’s great to see that Felix has included unlimited talk and text in addition to unlimited data.
- Pause your plan
The Felix app has a feature called Plan Pause, which allows you to pause your plan for up to 242 days. This really comes in handy if you travel outside the country and don’t want to lose your current month’s inclusions that you’ve already paid for. The great part is that you can still use any International roaming add-on you may have purchased, just in case you travel overseas.
- Environmentally friendly
If you’re concerned about the environment, then you’re Felix Mobile’s target consumer. They’ll plant a tree for every month you’re an active subscriber, and they rely on 100 percent renewable energy for electricity. We’ll expand on these unique qualities later on in this review.
- International add-on features
Felix Mobile’s SIM plan doesn’t include any International inclusions or roaming, but they offer add-on packs for that. For an additional $5, you’ll get unlimited International calls and texts from Australia to over 40 selected countries. They also offer a $20 add-on for roaming, which includes 4GB of data at speeds of up to 20Mbps, 100 standard minutes, and 100 standard SMS whenever you’re in one of over 40 selected countries, and this add-on lasts 365 days.
In Australia, it’s been over a decade since we saw mobile plans with “unlimited” data that was really unlimited. Instead, we’ve seen a lot of plans that include unlimited calls and texts, which have become somewhat expected in certain price ranges. The closest we’ve seen to unlimited data are plans that throttle your download speeds to 1.5Mbps (or a little bit more, depending on the telco and plan) after you exhaust your plan data. But after a month living on 1.5Mbps, we found such plans to be quite limiting if you’re a heavy streamer.
Felix Mobile’s SIM plan has brought back unlimited data that can actually pass as really unlimited. Yes, they cap your download speeds at a maximum of 20Mbps, but that’s actually quite fast. At speeds of 20Mbps, you can stream HD videos smoothly, and download large files in a reasonable amount of time. You can’t do either of those comfortably if you were on a plan that throttled your speeds to 1.5Mbps.
To put it in perspective, the slowest NBN plan has max speeds of 25Mbps and it costs a lot more than $35. Felix Mobile offer you unlimited data at max speeds of 20Mbps (just 5Mbps slower than the cheapest NBN plans) for just $35. We say that’s a pretty good deal.
However, a plan with unlimited data isn’t for everyone. To figure out if this plan is right for you, try to determine just how much data you use in a month. A lot of consumers have fixed or mobile broadband plans for their home, so maybe you don’t use your mobile data when you’re at home. This would mean that your Felix plan’s unlimited data will only be used when you’re out and about, and it might quickly become a waste if that is the case because you likely won’t need that much data.
And if you want to use your plan’s unlimited mobile data at home, keep in mind that Felix have a fair usage policy that you shouldn’t abuse. You can use your SIM plan’s unlimited data to set up a mobile hotspot for tethering your personal devices, but it can’t substitute your home broadband network. With a speed cap of just 20Mbps, your usage experience will quickly diminish when multiple devices are tethered to your smartphone data.
If you’re concerned about the environment, then you might want to give Felix Mobile a look. We’ve touched briefly on some of their green qualities already, so let’s take a deeper look to see if their efforts are worth your time.
Felix Mobile are certified Carbon Neutral by the Climate Active initiative. If you’re not exactly sure about what that means, we’ve written an article breaking down terms like “carbon neutral” and “net zero” in the telco space, so be sure to take a look.
There are other carbon neutral telcos in Australia, so Felix Mobile isn’t alone in that regard. However, Felix is the first telco brand in Australia to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
Felix Mobile have also set a goal of planting 1,000,000 trees by the end of 2022 with the help of a nonprofit organization, One Tree Planted (OTP). To do this, the telco promises to plant one tree for every month you remain an active subscriber.
In order to be able to plant trees all year round, OTP have made it a global effort, choosing over 10 regions (including Australia) where your tree might be planted depending on the time of year or season.
Felix have already planted over 120,000 trees in five locations so far. Two of those locations are here in Australia — eastern seaboard and Western Australia for bushfire relief projects. The other three locations so far are India, The Philippines, and The Andes in South America. After each project, Felix will send you a report detailing your tree’s progress.
We use trees for a plethora of manufacturing purposes – everything from furniture to paper to pharmaceuticals. And because each tree stores around 21kg of CO2 each year, destroying them can really contribute negatively to climate change. Also, phone use produces 1 million tonnes of CO2 each year, and telcos’ use of traditional electricity is a huge reason for such high carbon emissions. Felix Mobile’s use of 100 percent renewable energy means they’ve reduced their carbon footprint significantly.
Considering these facts, we think Felix Mobile have made a worthy pledge here, and signing up for their plan means you’re making a difference. Keep in mind, though, that it can take as long as 18 months before a tree is planted for each particular month of active subscription.
Telstra have had tremendous success with Boost Mobile, which is the only MVNO that resells the full Telstra 3G/4G network. Telstra have also had great success with their other sub brand, Belong.
For a while, Optus and Vodafone sat by and watched Telstra build success with their sub brands. During that time, MVNOs also showed huge growth, snatching up subscribers and market share while the major telcos struggled.
The lure of sub brands and MVNOs are their simplicity. They resell the major tecos’ networks in the form of cheap and straightforward plans. Optus and Vodafone have now entered the market with sub brands of their own – Gomo and Felix Mobile, respectively.
As a result, we can assume that Felix Mobile is in direct competition with Boost, Belong, and Gomo, amongst other MVNOs. Here’s a quick look at what those sub brands offer in comparison to Felix Mobile:
- Boost Mobile
Boost is the only MVNO reselling Telstra’s full 3G/4G network. They offer 5 prepaid plans with 28-day expiry, ranging from $20 to $70 with 5GB to 100GB of data, as well as long expiry plans. Boost offer two plans that are close to Felix Mobile’s $35 price — they are $30 and $40 plans that include 40GB and 55GB of data, respectively, while Felix offer unlimited data.
Belong use Telstra’s 3G/4G network, and their customer support is fully digital. Belong offer three postpaid month-to-month SIM only plans ranging from $25 to $45 with 20GB to 80GB of data. Their $35 plan includes 40GB, compared to Felix Mobile’s unlimited data for the same price.
Gomo is Optus’ sub brand, a fully digital telco reselling their 3G/4G network. They offer three plans ranging from $15 to $35 with 4GB to 30GB of data. However, Gomo’s current promo puts the price range from $10 to $15 with 8GB to 60GB data for the first 3 recharges, after which the prices and data inclusions revert to normal. Gomo’s $35 plan includes 30GB of data, compared to unlimited data from Felix at the same cost.
These comparisons are by no means exhaustive, but they should give you an idea of what to expect from other sub brands and MVNOs in the market when compared to Felix Mobile at the $30 to $40 price range. For a more comprehensive look, read our comparison of the best cheap phone plans in Australia.
As we mentioned, we haven’t seen a truly unlimited mobile plan in over a decade. What’s common today are plans with throttled data – they slow your speeds down to around 1.5Mbps when you exhaust your plan data. That really helps keep you from racking up data overage charges, but it’s not really unlimited – you might get frustrated with how slow the throttled speed is and then purchase additional data before your plan expires.
Now, Felix Mobile have given us something very close to that – unlimited data but with speeds capped at 20Mbps, which is actually quite fast. But there is now another unlimited plan in the market – Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan which also offers unlimited data.
- Vodafone’s Ultra+ SIM Only plan
Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan is a month-to-month SIM only plan that offers truly unlimited high speed 5G data with no caps on speed at all. The plan costs $85, but is currently on promo for $65 every month you remain continuously active if you sign up by 11 November 2021. Regardless of the price point you buy, Vodafone’s Ultra+ plan costs a lot more than Felix Mobile. However, you will have access to Vodafone’s 5G network on their Ultra+ plan, and your speeds won’t be throttled or capped like Felix Mobile’s SIM plan.
Felix Mobile offer a single plan, and it couldn’t be more simple than that. But that could present problems for a brand which only sells online – how will people find out about them? Whether Felix (and Gomo – Optus’ fully-owned sub brand) will last long term will depend on a number of factors that sum up to whether they can get their message out.
Felix is probably a reaction to the strength of Belong and Boost on the Telstra network, which Telstra are using to hoover up the customers who refuse to pay their minimum $55 per month on the main brand. Both Boost and Belong are now time-tested and trusted amongst Australians. Therefore, whether Felix will last among the now dizzying array of sub brands will come down to how unique they are – do they stand for and deliver something genuinely new? I think they do.
For people who are happy with the Vodafone network, $35 a month is a good price for a phone plan that you know you are never going to have to pay more for (there can’t be any ‘out of bundle’ charges on an unlimited plan). It’s also easy to forget that we are on the cusp of the most substantial change to telco in a long time. Very shortly, the eSIM will start to take over, making it easier than ever to shop around and switch phone plans and telcos in a matter of minutes.