Jio effect: Airtel to offer Android set-top box, free TV
In a bid to take on Reliance's GigaFiber, Airtel is working to launch an Android-based smart set-top box (STB) to "deliver converged digital entertainment and fast broadband services," according to The Economic Times. The Sunil Mittal-led telco is working to launch its new STB sometime in September this year and may even bundle a free television along with it. Here's more on this development.
Airtel's Android STB will come bundled with special services
Airtel's upcoming Android STB will allow access to premium OTT content, streaming applications, HD TV channels, VR, and interactive gaming services as part of the company's converged digital entertainment-cum-broadband service. This suggests Airtel's console will try to match Jio's STB that is touted to support the company's fiber-based broadband service along with local cable TV, gaming, MR experiences, and video calling (with external camera).
Airtel is also testing an integrated billing system
Further, according to the report, Airtel "has internally piloted an integrated billing system in Chandigarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Andhra Pradesh, and is ready to operationalize it nationally from next month."
Airtel might bundle an HD TV with its STB
Citing people familiar with the matter, The Economic Times reported that Airtel might also provide a free HD/LED television along with the set-top box on select super-premium tariff plans. With this, the telco aims to counter GigaFiber's 'Welcome Offer' which promises to offer an HD or 4K LED TV and a compatible set-top box for free with 'Jio Forever Plans' (annual subscription plans).
Meanwhile, Jio will commercially launch GigaFiber on September 5
The finer details about GigaFiber's plans and pricing will be revealed on September 5 when the service would launch commercially. However, we know that base tariff, offering 100Mbps speed, will start from Rs. 700/month while the top-end plan with 1Gbps speed will cost Rs. 10,000/month.