While Airtel Xstream includes access to TV channels, JioFiber does not. Airtel’s plans range from Rs 799 to Rs 1,999, with access to OTT (directly over the internet) apps from a Rs 1,099 plan. Jio is offering OTT annual subscription from a Rs 1,299 plan and a three-month access to OTT platforms from their Rs 849 a month plan. The Xstream box can support linear television and OTT, while the stick has inbuilt Chromecast. The Xstream box will come pre-installed with the Airtel Xstream app, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Analysts see this as a customer retention tool (existing broadband and Direct-to-Home customers), as well as a value-added service for the post-paid and high-end prepaid customers.
That said, Airtel and Jio’s offerings are not comparable. Jio is offering a host of other services like landline connection, video conferencing, router and set-top box, apart from hardware like bluetooth speakers and television sets (for 1,299 and above annual plans) as part of their welcome offer.
The Xstream box will come pre-installed with the Airtel Xstream app, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. Recently, Tata Sky introduced a similar service, Tata Sky Binge, offered through the Amazon Fire TV stick. JioFiber plan rentals start at Rs 699 and go up to Rs 8,499, ranging from 100 mbps to 1 Gbps speed. Analysts say this is not as disruptive as its initial wireless mobile plans, despite a number of freebies, including a TV for customers paying Rs 1,299 (if they opt for the annual plan) and above.
Long-term plans for multiple months are more cost-effective. Jio says it will provide bank tie-ups for easy monthly instalment (EMI) schemes, so that customers could apply for annual plans. The claim is that it is pricing the plans at a tenth of current global rates. Airtel is offering internet speeds of up to 300 mbps on higher plans. However, Xstreme is purely a home entertainment service, unlike the integrated home internet offering from Jio.