Airtel Xstream AirFiber and Jio AirFiber are the two Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) solutions available in India today from the only operators rolling out 5G at scale in the country. Airtel was the first to launch its 5G wireless broadband solution in India with its Xstream AirFiber offering, which the company claims it useful for users in fiber-dark areas. The same is the case with Jio, with the company claiming the service to be helpful in areas where fiber is hard to reach.
FWA Service in India
While everyone is aware of the plans and service offerings of both Airtel and Jio in the FWA segment, there is a finer detail that needs attention regarding the unlimited claims of both operators. We will explore them further in the story ahead and determine who offers the best, irrespective of the plans and their speeds.
As of now, Airtel offers only one plan with 100 Mbps speeds and unlimited data, whereas Jio claims to offer plans with multiple speeds ranging from 30 Mbps to 1 Gbps with unlimited data. However, speeds in higher segments are again available only in select locations where Jio AirFiber service is available.
Now, let's take a look at the Unlimited Fair Usage Policy (FUP) of both telcos.
Airtel Xstream AirFiber
Airtel Xstream AirFiber offers unlimited data with a fair usage policy of 3333GB per month. After the exhaustion of the data quota, Airtel users can enjoy throttled speeds of 2 Mbps without any limits. This means, for just the base price on an as-is basis, Airtel users can enjoy 3.3TB high-speed data and 2 Mbps FUP speeds, sufficient for most browsing and streaming activities.
However, if we look at Jio, as the OTT operator promotes its AirFiber offering for entertainment purposes, the unlimited data comes with just 1TB of high-speed data. After exceeding the 1TB limit, speeds drop to 64 kbps as per the Fair Usage Policy. If Jio users exhaust the 1TB by watching OTT content, they can purchase a data booster at Rs 401, as per the terms and conditions, which offers an additional 1TB of data with a validity of the billing cycle.
However, if we compare it with the data offering from both providers, Airtel provides much higher data and post-FUP usage experience with 2 Mbps compared to Jio's. Even after purchasing a data booster, a Jio customer gets 1TB plus bundled 1TB data, which totals 2TB across all plans, still less than Airtel's offering of 3.3TB.
Airtel Xstream AirFiber's unlimited data offering limits and post-quota speeds are much better when compared to Jio's AirFiber.