With home broadband plans in heavy demand, Airtel has hinted at a new Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan for broadband users in India. This comes as part of the latest update for the Airtel Thanks app, presently visible for iPhone users on the Apple App Store. However, there are no further details about the Airtel Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan within the app for Airtel Xstream broadband users. That leads us to believe that the offer will be rolled out on the app in the coming days, and the update just provides the groundwork for the same. Airtel says this plan will be listed with the other Xstream broadband plans, but at this time, we do not know how much this will cost. When this does roll out, this will be the first of its kind broadband plan to be launched in India that bundles a premium Wi-Fi mesh system.
So, what do we know about the Airtel Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan so far? Not much, to be honest. Except that Airtel is perhaps going to bundle a Wi-Fi mesh system with the Xstream broadband plans for those who want a better Wi-Fi coverage at home. At present, Airtel provides pretty basic Wi-Fi routers, at least as far as the Wi-Fi range in the home is concerned, with the Airtel Xstream broadband plans. These routers are made by Nokia or Huawei, and what you get depends on what is available in stock at the time. This will be fantastic news for those who are currently using a basic Wi-Fi router at home or still using the default router that Airtel offered with their broadband connections—you will not need to spend on buying a new router or Wi-Fi Mesh system now.
Wi-Fi Mesh systems are basically a set of multiple Wi-Fi units that can be placed at different places in your home to ensure seamless connectivity all through. These connect to each other via what are called backhaul channels, on the 5GHz network. You need to hook up the primary unit of a Wi-Fi system to the internet line to get this going. The additional units, known as satellites, are linked wirelessly to the primary unit—they have their own dedicated backhaul channels for communication and data transfer, which minimizes speed drops that the Wi-Fi repeaters otherwise struggle with. These satellite units can be spread across your home as required, where Wi-Fi signals tend to be weak, for seamless internet coverage. Most Wi-Fi mesh systems cover between 2,000 square feet to 6,000 square feet of indoor space.
At present, you can buy Wi-Fi mesh systems in India from multiple networking equipment and router manufacturers, including Linksys who have the Velop range of Wi-Fi mesh systems and Netgear who have the Orbi Wi-Fi mesh systems. It is not clear which mesh system Airtel will provide with the Xstream Fiber Plus Mesh Plan, or how much it will cost.
At this time, the Airtel Xstream broadband plans are priced between Rs 799 to Rs 3,999 per month. The Basic plan priced at Rs 799 per month bundled 150GB data at speeds of 100Mbps. The Entertainment plan is priced at Rs 999 per month and bundles 300GB data at 200Mbps speed. The Premium plan offers 500GB data at 300Mbps speeds for Rs 1,499 per month. With these three plans, you can choose to add-on the unlimited data usage top-up for an additional Rs 299 per month, which takes your data usage limit per month to 3333GB. Last but not least is the flagship VIP plan, that offers unlimited data usage at 1Gbps speeds and is priced at Rs 3,999 per month.