Internode has added 4G support to its NodeMobile month-by-month mobile phone and data plan, a move that is undoubtedly influenced by the recent Optus 4G network expansion in Adelaide. How competitive is its offering? We've crunched the numbers.
Internode isn't the first MVNO using the Optus network to offer access to its 4G services; Virgin Mobile and Vaya already have this option, as does Internode's parent company iiNet. Indeed, the 4G pricing from Internode is now identical to that charged by iiNet; previously it had lower prices and slightly different inclusions. (Existing customers can choose to stick with the existing pricing or migrate to the new plans.)
Internode has four plans. $15 scores you 200MB of data and $200 of credit. $30 offers 1.5GB and $500 of credit, plus unlimited SMS. $45 includes $800 of credit, unlimited SMS and 3GB of data; $60 offers the same 3GB of data with unlimited calls and SMS.
If you don't care about 4G, there are plenty of providers who offer unlimited calls for under $40. If 4G is a requirement, for plans with unlimited calls Internode (and iiNet) do beat Virgin, which charges $79 a month for a similar deal (albeit with 4GB of data rather than 3GB), and Optus, which charges $65 for unlimited calls and 2GB of data. However, it's not as cheap as Vaya, which charges $45 a month unlimited calls and 3GB of data (and has a special at $36 a month if you sign up for a contract).
There's one other major limit on Internode's competitiveness: you can only sign up for these plans if you're an Internode fixed broadband customer. (Similar rules apply at iiNet and TPG.)