Internode has revamped its NodeMobile 3G broadband plans, increasing the data allowances on its cheapest and most expensive plans. The changes make the plans more generous, but there’s still a little room for improvement.
The NodeMobile range (which runs on the Optus network) now offers five monthly plans: 1.5GB for $19.95, 5GB for $29.95, 9GB for $39.95, 12GB for $39.95 or 18GB for $79.95. The latter is one of the larger monthly 3G data allocations on the market. Internode has also dropped its hardware purchase price for the basic USB modem used for the service to $99, a cut of $30.
Extra data is always welcome, but we’d caution against the cheapest 1.5GB option for a simple reason: once you’ve used your monthly allocation, the only option is to purchase additional ‘data blocks’, which cost $19.95 for 500MB. (The cost of those blocks dropped to $14.95 earlier this year but has now risen again.)
In practice, that means that if you just slightly exceed the 1.5GB requirement, you’d be better off on the 5GB plan (you’ll pay $29.95 for 5GB versus $39.90 for 2GB). Internode’s argument is that not automatically applying excess usage charges avoids “bill shock”. That might be true, but data blocks are not a particularly flexible alternative.