From tomorrow, broadband provider Internode will offer 3G mobile broadband via a resale agreement with the nation's number two telco Optus.
Internode will have a 250MB download limit for $14.95 a month and a 3GB plan for $39.95 a month, although unlike Internode fixed plans, the usage includes up- and downstream and there is no shaping.
Existing Internode customers will receive a free USB wireless data modem if they sign up for a 24-month contract for the service. Customers can also get mobile broadband via SIM for a fee of $25. Those who expect to go above their quota can buy data blocks at $10 for 250MB, $20 for 500MB and $40 for 1GB.
According to Internode product manager Jim Kellet, Optus' coverage was a drawcard, but also its willingness to provide Internode with a technical solution which would use Internode's network as opposed to the carrier simply reselling an Optus connection. "Apart from that 'last mile' you're running all your services over the Internode network with its redundancy and high availability," an Internode spokesperson said.
Internode is the second provider this month to announce an Optus-sourced 3G service, with Westnet diving into mobile services last week.
Westnet offered plans starting from 500MB for $19.95 per month, 1GB for $29.95, 2GB for $39.95 and 5GB for $59.95 with an additional 1GB, 2GB and 3GB respectively off peak for the last three plans when combined with a phone, DSL, unlimited dial-up or satellite service from Westnet. Those who signed up for 24 months receive a free modem.
Prepaid packages were also available, as well as a short-term offer, until 31 May 2009, which allowed an extra 2GB in the first full month. Internode was not offering prepaid plans or extra download limits for bundled customers.
When asked why Westnet went with Optus while its parent chose to partner with 3, a spokesperson for the company named the carrier's coverage as the answer. "iiNet have a more metropolitan-based customer base, so 3 fits well (metro-based network), and they see value in the strategic fit," the spokesperson said.