iiNet And Internode Mobile Plans: Any Good?

You might think of iiNet and its Internode subsidiary primarily as internet service providers, but both have also updated their mobile phone offerings in recent days. We've analysed what's in their new plans and compared them to other offerings on the market.


Internode has revamped its NodeMobile plans, and now offers three month-to-month options: Starter ($10 per month), Value ($20 per month) and Premium ($40 per month). You have to pay a $10 fee to get a SIM. The service uses Optus' network.

The Starter plan includes $165 of credit and 200MB of data, the Value option has $450 of credit and 1.5GB of data, and the Premium plan has 3GB of data and $750 of credit. Value and Premium also include credit you can use to call other NodeMobile customers only ($1000 and $1500 respectively). In addition to the basic data allowance, all plans include 150GB of data for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIns

Across all plans, calls are charged at $0.90 per minute plus a $0.35 flag fall. Unusually, charges are calculated based on 30 second units (or part thereof), a model most other carriers have abandoned in favour of per-minute calling. Text messages in Australia cost 25 cents each. Excess data is charged at 20 cents per megabyte. Those prices are all fairly unremarkable -- not exceptionally cheap but not massively overpriced either.

The soon-to-be-introduced Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code requires providers to specify how many 2-minute calls to standard numbers could be made on each plan. With calls costing $2.15 each for that period, that works out to 76 2-minute calls on the Starter plan, 209 on the Value plan, and 348 on the Premium plan.

A few key things to note. Firstly, NodeMobile is only available to Internode customers; you can't sign up for it as a standalone service. Secondly, the inclusion of 150GB per month for use with social networking services isn't quite as compelling as it sounds, since Optus (and companies that resell services using its networks) offers 'unlimited' access to those services in anyway. You'd have to work very hard to get through 150GB of social networking via web sites on your mobile in any case, and I suspect that represents the same 'reasonable usage' limit other providers would enforce.

Is it worth it? LiveConnected offers even cheaper plans on the Optus network, but charges calls per minute, has much higher excess data rates, and has attracted some criticism for its support model. Amasyim's $20 plan gives you more calls as it has a lower rate, and its $40 offering has unlimited calling to Australian numbers and a more generous data allowance. Any of those choices could make more sense, even if you're already an Internode customer.


In most respects, iiNet's plans are identical to those offered by Internode. It has $10, $20 and $40 plans that are identically priced, and with the same inclusions and conditions (right down to the odd '150GB of social networking' offer). The key differences:

  • iiNet also offers handset subsidies on a range of Samsung Galaxy phones (the SII, the SIII, the Note and the Ace) if you're prepared to sign up to a 24-month contract.
  • There's a $60 plan which has unlimited calls (but still only includes 3GB of data). That seems expensive compared to similar offers from Amaysim, Boost and LiveConnected.
  • The SIM fee is $25 rather than $10.

Bundling services is an increasingly common tactic in communications. Providers like it because the more services you have with the company, the less likely you are to switch. Bundles can represent a good value offering, but you need to assess them carefully; you often pay extra for the convenience of a single bill.



    I have two mobile accounts bundled into my iiNet DSL now and my biggest gripe (beyond the limitations of the Optus network) is that they don't flag the usual mobile carrier BS with billing upfront.

    I can't remember the exact detail, but the first bill was an eyebrow-raiser, because it had (something like) the balance of the current month, the next month and effectively a second month as a deposit. I had no particular issue with them doing it (they all have incomprehensible billing cycles) but I expected iiNet to be a little more upfront about it. When you sign up for a $20 plan, with a $25 SIM, I was expecting a $45 bill, not 70 or 80. And I never trust that the telcos refund that prepayment if and when you churn away ...

    That said, the day-to-day usage is good, with call transparency via the website and a good iPhone app to track data and call usage.

    Try Vaya ( They have an $11 Flexicap plan that is the same as the iiNet and Internode $20 plan. Also uses the Optus network.

    The annoying thing is that I'd far prefer a lower call allowance and higher data. But you can't "mix and match" what you want.

      I agree totally. Hitting 200mb is pretty easy, using up all that call credit (when using WhatsApp as well) is nigh on impossible. I even looked at some other provisioner's, but it seems data allowance is still based on 2002 usage. That said - $10 a month cant be beaten.

        I blast though 1Gb on my phone easy... yeah i wish they would allow us to mix and match plans (Telstra user for mobile). Will never use Telstra for anything else. my home data comes from Internode :D

          I'm convinced this mix of Telstra (post paid, grey import handset) / Internode (ADSL and landline for legacy relative contact) is a good balance with value and performance.

          I'd be all over any of the above, even just to support 'Node, but that Optus thanks.

            JUSTIN, I am thinking same thing. i need Telstra network for mobile. i am cared of thegrey imports. i want smsung galaxy s3. Currently have Australian (bought @ harvey norman) S2. some say with grey imports quality of calls and data speed are not sgood and sometome phone switches itself off nd on and other instbilities
            hone swotchesff

    As someone that needs to be on Telstra's network for work, is there any way to get better value out of my BYO phone plan with them? Do any third party companies offer deals using their network?

      Not yet... maybe when 4G becomes large enough that they can have customers pretty much exclusively using it and therefore free up capacity on the 3G network.

      Telstra's BYO plans are pretty poor value IMO. For many usage cases chances are that you'll get better value from Telstra Pre-Paid. Plus you don't have to deal with Telstra's billing.

    I totally agree that data and not calls is the biggest draw card in terms of choosing a provider. I am still rocking a prepaid Optus sim cause I'm on their $2 days. The reception at my home is a joke, but out an about I almost never make a call, its all Viber, WhatsApp or FB for my communication. The second one of the telco's offer a decent (talking >10GB) data price point, I'll sign up (plus I want an S3 but they are too much outright)

    I have an iinet @20 deal, they were up front about all costs when they dealt with me.
    Maybe it depends on which CSO you get?

    So far I have had no trouble with it. Never gone over my cap or data cap. Left 3/Vodaphone, really happy I don't have to deal with Indian accents every time I call. Trying to cancel my 3 account was hell, they all sounded stuck up and acted like I was inferior for wanting to cancel my contract. Had to tell them I was emigratating and they still wanted me to take a new plan in case I moved back.

      I put my fiance on the iinet $20 plan because vodafone somehow managed to get her bill to $200 (mostly through calls, and she is not the kind of person who looks at her bills closely, and it was a 2 year old iPhone plan), luckily at that time iiNet had the $20 plan free for 6months cause I re-contracted with them (regretfully to get a cheaper BoB2).

      So far I've had no qualms with them and she hasn't gone over the call or data limits so she is paying less than the minimum spend she was with vodafone and getting more than she was for $200.

        Having said that, im not married to keeping her on iiNet (as i am to staying with iiNet for internet), when we upgrade phones ill either buy outright and go on someone cheaper still or get it subsidised.

    Samsung Galaxy phones (the SII, the SII, the Note and the Ace). think he ment SIII

    PennySIM is a better deal...

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