Reliance JioFiber, Airtel Xstream: plans, data packages and the fine print

(Image credit: Pixabay)

With brands like Reliance Jio and Airtel announcing new broadband plans, they ushered a new era of home fiber connectivity in India. This will not only ensure the availability of affordable high-speed internet connectivity to more households but will also help people working or students attending their schools remotely.

Apart from removing the upper caps of data usage, both Jio and Airtel are offering access to unlimited voice calls and subscription to various OTT services bundled. Here's a look at the latest Airtel and Jio fiber plans.

(Image credit: Jio)

Latest JioFiber Plans

Jio's new unlimited plans are designed in a way that data usage is free, however, you need to pay extra for higher speed and additional benefits. Jio starts with the Bronze plan that is priced at Rs. 399 per month offering unlimited high-speed internet at 30 Mbps with free unlimited voice calls as the additional benefit.

Next up is the Silver plan that is priced Rs. 699 per month offering 100 Mbps speed and fee unlimited voice calls. Both Bronze and Silver plans do not offer any bundled OTT subscription.

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JioFiber plans
Plan NameBronzeSilverGoldDiamondDiamond+PlatinumTitanium
RentalRs. 399Rs. 699Rs. 999Rs. 1,499 Rs. 2,499 Rs. 3,999 Rs. 8,499
Speed30 Mbps100 Mbps150 Mbps300 Mbps500 Mbps1 Gbps 1 Gbps
Domestic voice calls UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
OTT bundleNANA11 apps12 apps12 apps12 apps12 apps

It is worth noting that while Jio states that the plans offered are truly unlimited, there is a cap of 3300 GB per month to guard against any misuse. Also, unlike earlier, the company is now offering symmetric download and upload speeds which means both upload and download speeds remain the same.

Additionally, Jio is also offering a 4K Android-based set-top box free on a refundable basis to users with Gold plan and beyond. Jio is offering a bundled subscription to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+ Hotstar, Sony Liv, Voot, Alt Balaji, SunNxt, ShemarooMe, Hoichoi and Lionsgate Play and more.

There is a one-month free trial available for users who want to test out the services and this can be availed by paying refundable security of Rs. 1500 that offers speeds up to 150 Mbps. In case you want to opt for the set-top box and the OTT app subscription, you need to pay Rs. 2,500 upfront as security.

Though this upfront security deposit includes a deposit of Rs. 1,000. For devices and advance towards installation services. Entire security deposit gets refunded only in case the service is discontinued in the 30-day trial period. In case you plan to continue the services, this amount will be adjusted as installation charges.

(Image credit: Airtel)

Latest Airtel Xstream fiber Plans

The new Airtel Xstream fiber plans start Rs. 100 costlier than Jio but offer 40 Mbps speed to start. Similar to Jio, Airtel is also offering unlimited data and call on all the plans and you pay for faster download speed. Though Airtel is offering a free subscription to 7 OTT apps and 5 studios for free.

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Airtel Xstream fiber plans
Plan NameUnlimitedPremium EntertainmentUltraVIP
Rental Rs. 499Rs. 799Rs. 999Rs. 1,499Rs. 3,999
Speed 40 Mbps 100 Mbps200 Mbps300 Mbps1 Gbps
Domestic voice callsUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
OTT bundle7 OTT apps and 5 Studios7 OTT apps and 5 Studios 7 OTT apps, 5 Studios + Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5 7 OTT apps, 5 Studios + Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5 7 OTT apps, 5 Studios + Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video, ZEE5

It is worth noting that existing users, like new users have an option to buy the 4K Xstream Android box for refundable security of Rs. 1500. However, since Airtel is pushing its DTH connection along with the Android box by making it mandatory for users to recharge the DTH connection with a recharge of Rs. 462 every month.

You can choose to pay Rs. 2400 for the Android Box but you still need to recharge the DTH connection with a minimum recharge value of Rs. 153 every month.

This condition may sound a bit absurd since Airtel is already offering a subscription to the OTT app.  However, users will still have to pay for the DTH connection. In case you fail to recharge the DTH connection, the security deposit will lapse and the Xstream box will get deactivated, as confirmed by one of the Airtel reps.

Also, Airtel has long had a FUP policy on unlimited data connections that allowed users to download 3333 GB per month. This cap is expected to continue with the new plans as well.

It's all about add-ons

While both the companies are offering almost similar plans, speeds and features, the differentiating factor lies in the add-on benefits.

While Airtel is forcing users with an offline DTH connection, Jio is making it easier for users to ditch the satellite connection by offering a host of OTT subscriptions. Jio’s no-questions-asked refund policy also offers a good reason for users to try the services, however, Airtel is known for superior customer support and wider reach.

Airtel allows users to use the bundled OTT apps on their phones or other devices, on the other hand Jio's free subscriptions are supposed to be used on the setup box primarily. Jio had far complicated plans earlier and the new ones are simple yet easy to understand, all Airtel had to do was to remove the silly FUP limits. 

Hence before choosing either make sure you go through the fine prints and speak to the respective customer support teams to understand the availability, support and local factors that may impact your usage.

Jitendra Soni

Jitendra has been working in the Internet Industry for the last 7 years now and has written about a wide range of topics including gadgets, smartphones, reviews, games, software, apps, deep tech, AI, and consumer electronics.