Jio Platforms on Monday launched the AirFiber, a wireless plug-and-play 5G hotspot, as the top Indian top telecom operator races to make a dent to the broadband market.

With the Jio AirFiber, first showcased last year, Reliance plans to expand its 5G user base and replace wired broadband connections. The device will be available from September 19. Details on the pricing are yet to be announced.

“We can currently connect around 15,000 premises daily, but with Jio AirFiber, we can supercharge this expansion with up to 150,000 connections per day. This is a 10-fold increase, expanding our addressable market over the next three years to over 200 million high-paying homes and premises,” said Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani at the company’s annual general meeting Monday.

The device works with the Jio Home app to let users manage, grant and restrict Wi-Fi access. Reliance also provides an AI-driven Proactive Quality Monitoring feature, touted to automatically optimize the Wi-Fi network based on usage patterns and prevent “most issues even before they occur.”

Earlier this month, Jio arch-rival Bharti Airtel launched the Xstream AirFiber to answer the Jio offering. The Xstream AirFiber comes with a 100 Mbps monthly plan that costs around $10 per month with a six-month commitment and a refundable security deposit of over $30.

Jio launched its 5G services in India last year, which have now reached over 50 million subscribers, covering more than 96% of the census towns in the country.

The operator aims to provide its advanced cellular network to “every town” in India by the end of 2023. Jio has more than 450 million subscribers in the country, with the average user consuming 25GB of data per month, the Indian conglomerate said at its annual meeting.

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Jagmeet Singh

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