I took a new Airtel Broadband connection recently. There were several unanswered questions at the time of taking new Airtel broadband connection, specifically what are Airtel broadband installation charges. Are there any subscription plans under which Airtel offers new broadband connection free of installation cost? Then there is this Airtel Xstream box leading to another question: is there any additional payment required for customer who opt for Xstream box while taking new broadband connection. This post provides clarity to many questions that one may have while considering to take a new Airtel Broadband Connecting with Xstream box.
Airtel charges Rs 1,000 towards installation charge for new connections (if you opt for a monthly plan). The installation charges are completely waived off if you opt for 6 months or 12 months plan. In some cities installation charges are waived off even with 3 months plan. When I took new connection in Bangalore, I had to take a 6 months plan to get broadband installation and setup charges waived by Airtel. After the end of initial plan term of 6 months (or 3 months as per your city), you can switch to monthly payments.
Table of Contents:
- Airtel Broadband Benefits
- Time taken to get new Airtel Broadband connection
Airtel Broadband Benefits
Free Xstream Box with Smart RF Remote (and DTH dish)
So, what is an Airtel Xstream box in first place?
In simple terms Airtel Xstream box is a DTH Set Top Box with additional capability to convert any TV to smart TV. The Xstream box is based on Android and enables below features on your TV
- Login to OTT Apps (like Amazon Prime, Netflix and more) and watch directly from your TV
- Watch YouTube videos
- Enable Google Assistant on your TV (just push Google assist button on your remote and talk)
- 4K picture quality
- Cast your Laptop, phone screen to your TV
- Install apps from Google Play Store that are supported on Android for TV (Some apps look to be blocked by Airtel. For instance, I was not able to install Sun TV’s Sun NXT app)
Now to the most important question, what is the Airtel Xstream box cost? For Airtel Broadband customers It is offered free of cost. But you need to pay Rs 1,500 towards refundable security deposit. That’s it! You do not have to pay anything else for your Xstream box. Xstream box is optional, a customer who does not want Xstream box need not have to pay this security deposit.
Tip: Airtel Xstream box is a cost effective alternative to Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. There are few shortcomings on Xstream box compared to Fire TV Stick, yet is a good alternative considering the fact that entry model of Amazon’s Fire TV Stick is priced higher than Rs 2,500 while you pay nothing other than a refundable security deposit (Rs 1,500) for Airtel Xstream box that comes bundled with Airtel Broadband connection.
note: You need to connect Xstream box to internet (via Wifi) for above features. You Also have to link to a Google Play Store account.
The remote works on RF (Radio Frequency). Unlike the case of typical IR (Infra Red) remote, there is no need to point remote towards the Xstream box, making it real easy to operate.
Does Airtel Xstream Box need DTH Dish Antenna to watch Regular TV Channels?
Yes. For you to be able to watch your regular TV channels from STAR/Sony/Zee etc. you need to have a DTH dish antenna installed. The Xstream box adds smart features & OTT services when connected to internet, but at the core it is a set top box with a DTH dish antenna – you also need to pick a DTH plan of your choice and pay for it.
The Dish antenna, wire and fitting accessories are provided free of cost along with Xstream box for broadband customers. Here is an image of these items
I was having a older dish antenna installation from another (Sun Direct) DTH service provider. The technician clarified it is possible to connect Xstream box to the existing dish.. I decided to stick with my existing dish instead of the one provided by Airtel and faced no operational issue with Xstream box interworking with a dish from another DTH service provider.
Free Landline Connection
Airtel Broadband customers will get a Landline connection free of cost, with unlimited calls. Each customer would be assigned a land line number with STD prefix corresponding to the city where they have took the Broadband connection. While the connection is free and comes with unlimited calls, Airtel does not provide a landline device/phone. Customer should connect his own Landline phone.
If you plan to connect a phone, you should connect you phone cord into the splitter seen in below image. Other wire from splitter is connected to DSL Wifi Modem.
High Speed DSL Modem + Wifi Router
I did not pay anything extra for this, it came bundled with my new broadband connection. I was provided with 777VR1 (look at image below). This has combined functionality of Wifi Router (and it has 4 LAN ports too) and a DSL modem (based on VDSL2 – Very high-speed digital subscriber line 2, capable of supporting Triple Play i.e., Voice, Video & Data). The image above shows the 4 LAN ports behind the modem. The below image show the Wifi device with LEDs on while in operational state.
Access to Airtel Xstream App
Airtel Customers get access to content of Airtel Xstream App. You would also be able to watch this on your TV if you have opted for Xstream box. They have a decent collection of Hindi, English & few regional movies. Airtel Customers would be able to access this content online from airtelxstream.in.
Time Taken to Get New Airtel Broadband connection
I had my Airtel internet connection operational within 24 hours of submitting the request online! The DTH provisioning took a few more hours extra, but that got completed on the same day as when my internet connection was provisioned.
Timeline of Events for Getting New Airtel Broadband Connection
- 2 PM, Day 1: I Submit request at Airtel official link https://www.airtel.in/broadband/feasibility/ for new broadband connection.
- 4 PM, Day 1: I get a call back from Airtel within 2 hours to confirm my locality / feasibility etc. and forwarded my request further internally. You may also clarify any query you have related to plan, opting in for DTH/Xstream box etc. with the Airtel personnel who calls you.
- 6 PM, Day 1: I got call from another person after 1-2 hours. He shared list of documents required for new connection. I shared scanned copy of the documents via WhatsApp. List of documents requested for new Airtel Broadband Connection were Aadhar card, Photograph (a photo clicked from your mobile will do) along with your email address (payment link will be sent to this email address) and phone number.
- 7 PM, Day 1: He confirmed the installation address and plan details. Based on the plan selected, a payment link would be generated and emailed to you.
- 7 PM, Day 1: I completed the payment choosing credit card (I was hoping to pay with some Wallet option that offered some cashback, but could not find any wallet provided as payment option).
- 7 PM, Day 1: Once the payment was completed, I was asked to share the Transaction id. Technician visit was scheduled the next day.
- 1 PM, Day 2: Now, if you have opted for DTH/Xstream box two technicians would visit your place. First person would complete the broadband installation, the second technician would complete the installation of DTH and provision your Xstream box.