Airtel Picks ITI for Xstream Fiber Expansion, LCO Cities Miss Out OTT Benefits

Airtel is set to soon launch its Xstream Fiber services in over 50 cities

ITI Limited, a company engaged in the telecommunications space on Monday said in an exchange filing that it has received a Letter of Intent from Bharti Airtel for its Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) expansion. The company said that the work would involve laying of optical fibre backbone for broadband connectivity in eight circles across India. ITI said that it would take around three months to execute Airtel’s FTTH expansion project. However, ITI nor Bharti Airtel highlighted the eight circles currently said to witness the Xstream Fiber expansion.

Bharti Airtel Set to Expand Xstream Fiber Services in Over 50 Cities

It has to be noted that Airtel has highlighted that its Xstream Fiber services will soon be available in over 50 cities across India. The company in August added a “launching soon” tag in multiple cities such as Ahmednagar, Ariyalur, Barwani, Chamrajnagar, Chamoli, Champawat, Chikodi, Dindori, Jalna, Kaushambi, Kodagu, Mahendragarh, Maharajganj, Mewat, Mirzapur, Parbhani and Raigad.

Further, Airtel in August highlighted that Ramnagara, Rudraprayag, Saran, Shrawasti, Sivaganga, Tehri Garhwal, Thiruvannamalai, Thoothukudi, Udhampur, Uttarkashi, and Viluppuram would also soon receive Airtel Xstream Fiber services.

The company since early 2020 had been adding the “launching soon” tag on various cities in India. While the COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily halted the Xstream Fiber expansion, Airtel since late June had launched its FTTH services in over 15 cities across India that earlier had the “launching soon” tag.

The “launching soon” tag is also currently visible on various other cities including Akola, Aligarh, Amravati, Bahraich, Barabanki, Bikaner, Chandauli, Chandrapur, Davanagere, Dharamshala, Dhule, Hosur, Jalgaon, Jhunjhunu, Latur and Muzzafarnagar.

LCO Cities Currently Miss Out on Complete Benefits of Revamped Xstream Fiber Plans

Meanwhile, several Airtel Xstream Fiber users on social media have highlighted that the company does not offer Xstream Box with Over-the-Top (OTT) content in the Local Cable Operator (LCO) cities.

Airtel on Sunday revamped its Xstream Fiber plans with the company introducing an Xstream Bundle that offers users a complimentary access to OTT content through the Xstream Set-Top Box (STB). The company said that the complimentary OTT access would be enabled on platforms such as Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon Prime Video and Zee5.

However, as reported by TelecomTalk on Monday, the OTT access is currently enabled to Xstream Fiber users opting for the Xstream STB. Further, the users are also required to pay Rs 153 per month as network capacity fee charges to access internet “services” such as OTT apps on the Xstream STB.

The company offers Xstream Fiber services in certain cities such as Nashik, Dehradun and Bundi through LCO franchises. Airtel on its Xstream Fiber portal highlights the revamped plans with “unlimited” data in the LCO cities but the company does not list the “Free Xstream Box” banner as found in other cities.

Airtel in an updated terms and conditions page that it unveiled earlier said that the “OTT benefit will be offered every month as per the eligible plan” to users in LCO cities. However, the company does not highlight the Xstream Box requirement as listed in non-LCO cities.

Born in India, Yogesh loves to travel and has lived in multiple countries including New Zealand and Canada. His bylines can be found on various newspapers and blogs throughout the world, including Vancouver Sun, Surrey Now-Leader, Daily Hive , Investing News Network and Rach F1.

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