Airtel To Launch New Android Set-Top-Box To Counter Reliance Jio Fiber

The Reliance Jio Fiber launch has revived interest in the broadband space. From ultra high-speed optic-fiber-based connectivity to a feature-rich set-top-box, Reliance Jio is looking to offer a comprehensive package to broadband users at much lower price. Rival Airtel has reportedly begun preparations to tackle the imminent competition.

Airtel is working on a new Android-based set-top-box to deliver integrated tariff plans, access to premium OTT services, HD TV channels, interactive games and Virtual Reality (VR) apps, according to an Economic Times report. The company will offer the set-top-box to mid and top-level postpaid subscribers.

The report added that Airtel is also planning to offer free HD TV along with the set-top-box to users who subscribe to premium tariff plans. This offer seems quite similar to Reliance Jio’s Welcome Offer under which Jio Fiber users with annual data plans will get 4K set top box and HD or 4K LED TV or home PC for free.

Airtel, however, isn’t looking just at the hardware refresh to counter Reliance Jio. According to a recent report, Airtel is working on an ‘Airtel Black’ package under its ‘Airtel Thanks’ programme. The pack will be available to users with plans priced at Rs 999 and above. Airtel will offer discounted international roaming, off on consumer brands and improved content offerings, and access to premium applications.

Reliance Jio’s set-top-box is quite different from the current hardware offered by others. Users will be able to use the device to access Mixed Reality content, play online games, and even conduct multi-party video conferencing.

Reliance Jio Fiber is scheduled to roll out on September 5. The company has confirmed the data plans will range from Rs 700 and Rs 10,000 with the base plan offering 100Mbps data speeds.―Hindustan Times

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