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Jio Fiber vs BSNL Bharat Fiber vs Airtel V-Fiber vs ACT Fibernet vs Hathway Fiber: What does the cheapest plan get you?

Amongst Jio, BSNL, Airtel, ACT and Hathway, which one would you choose for your daily data needs at home? Which of these five offer the cheapest plan and and what more do you get on each of the entry-level plans? Let's find out.

Last week, Reliance Jio announced the prices of all Jio Fiber plans that are available for potential customers.

With that, Jio became the fifth major entrant to get into the fibre broadband market after BSNL, Airtel, ACT and Hathway in India, all of who offer their services across the country. But which one of these five operators would you choose for your daily data needs at home? Which among the five offer the cheapest plan and what more do you get on each of the entry-level plans? Do you think you’ll be more comfortable with a plan with higher FUP speeds or more FUP per month? We’re here to talk precisely that.

Entry level plans across major fibre service providers

Let’s start with the newest broadband plan, Reliance Jio’s Fiber Bronze which is available for a monthly rental of Rs 699. Besides this, subscribers will also need to make a payment of Rs 2,500 which includes an installation charge of Rs 1,000 and a refundable security deposit of Rs 1,500.

BSNL offers its cheapest plan for a monthly rental of Rs 777. However, there’s a catch and it’s the fact that the Rs 777 plan can only be availed for the first six months after which the user is shifted to the Rs 849 monthly plan. In order to avail BSNL’s FTTH Bharat Fiber services, customers also need to additionally pay an installation/activation charge of Rs 250 and a one-time security deposit of Rs 500 which is refundable.

Airtel provides its entry-level V-Fiber plan at Rs 799 monthly rental. The company requires users to pay a registration fee of Rs 1,000, which is non-refundable.

In contrast, ACT Fibernet’s cheapest plan is available as the ‘ACT Silver Promo’ for Rs 749 (in Delhi). Upon choosing the Silver Promo, users can choose their installation charge which will depend on the longevity of their choosing. To make things simple, ACT requires a payment of Rs 1,100 for the installation of its fibre broadband services, unless customers opt for an advance payment of 6-month or 12-month rental.

Hathway’s cheapest plan- Storm-1 comes in at Rs 1,947 for three months, translating to Rs 649 per month. However, users are required to subscribe to the same plan for a minimum of 3 months. Hathway mentions that additional charges for installation will be levied but its website doesn’t detail how much. Judging by the charges applied by its competitors, we can expect at least Rs 1,000 to be charged for registration or installation purposes.

Reliance Jio BSNL Airtel ACT Fibernet Hathway
Cheapest Plan Jio Fiber Bronze 500 GB CUL Basic V-Fiber ACT Silver Promo Storm-1
Plan Price Rs 699 Rs 777 Rs 799 Rs 749 Rs 649

Cheapest plan: Hathway’s Rs 649 monthly for three months or Jio’s Fiber Bronze Rs 699 plan for one month

Plan with the minimum security deposit/installation charges: BSNL – Rs 750

Let’s talk data

The Rs 699 plan from Jio will offer users 100GB of high-speed data per month with 50GB extra monthly data bundled for the first six months. While the plan does offer unlimited data, only the first 100GB of data can be accessed at a speed of 100Mbps, post which the speed will come down to 1Mbps.

BSNL’s Rs 777 plan offers a total of 500GB of data per month across all circles. This 500GB data can be accessed at up to 50Mbps speeds after which speeds will drop down to 2Mbps.

Airtel’s Rs 799 plan offers a monthly data of 100GB at speeds of 40Mbps per month. For first-time users, the operator is also offering an additional 200GB of high-speed data for use under six months.

ACT Fibernet’s Rs 749 plan brings users 500GB of monthly data at 100Mbps. While extra data of 1000GB is provided, it needs users to subscribe to a long-term plan of at least six months. Apart from that, post the FUP limit, data speeds will throttle down to 512Kbps.

Hathway’s Storm-1 plan offers 25GB of data at 5Mbps very month, post which speeds will come down to 1Mbps.

Jio Fiber Bronze BSNL 500 GB CUL Airtel Basic V-Fiber ACT Silver Promo Hathway Storm-1
Total high-speed Data (FUP) 100GB 500GB 100GB 500GB 25GB
Highest speed 100Mbps 50Mbps 40Mbps 100Mbps 5Mbps
Post FUP speed 1Mbps 2Mbps 1Mbps (likely) 512Kbps 1Mbps

Plan with the most data available – BSNL’s Rs 777 plan and ACT Fibernet’s Rs 749 plan: both offering 500GB data

Plan with highest data speed – Jio Fiber Bronze and ACT Silver Promo: 100Mbps

Plan with highest post-FUP speed – BSNL Rs 777 plan: 2 Mbps

Calling benefits

Besides data, the entry-level Jio Fiber plan of Rs 699 will offer free domestic voice calling, conferencing and international calling and TV video calling.

BSNL also offers unlimited free landline calling on any network in India at any time of the day.

Airtel offers unlimited local and STD calling through its Rs 799 V-Fiber plan.

Hathway and ACT Fibernet don’t provide any calling benefits with threat fibre broadband plans.

Jio Fiber Bronze BSNL 500 GB CUL Airtel Basic V-Fiber ACT Silver Promo Hathway Storm-1
Voice calling free domestic voice calling, conferencing, TV video calling unlimited free calling on any network unlimited local and STD calling

Streaming, OTT app and additional services

With the cheapest Rs 699 Jio Fiber plan, Jio is offering home networking, device security, gaming and three months of JioSaavn subscription and JioCinema. As part of the Welcome offer, users will also receive a new Jio Set-Top-Box (STB) which will come with 4K support, gaming, smart home solutions and voice assistant. The STB can be connected to a TV for accessing streaming apps and services. An annual subscription to the plan will also get users a Muse 2 Bluetooth speaker.

BSNL recently announced that it’s offering free Amazon Prime subscription with annual plans starting from Rs 399. This means that the users subscribed to BSNL’s cheapest Rs 777 plan will be able to avail a year-long subscription to Amazon Prime if they stick to the same plan for a whole year. The company is also offering a free subscription of Hotstar Premium on select plans but it’s unclear if the Rs 777 retail will include the benefit.

While Airtel offers Netflix, Amazon Prime and Zee5 membership with higher value plans of V-Fiber, its Rs 799 broadband plan only comes with Airtel Xstream entertainment services. Airtel Xstream will come with access to over 400 LIVE TV channels and 10,000 plus movies and shows.

The ACT Silver Promo doesn’t offer any additional memberships to Netflix as the company’s other plans. Users subscribing to Rs 999 and Rs 1,249 can be the only ones save up to Rs 300 every month on their Netflix bill.

Hathway doesn’t offer entertainment solutions through its Storm-1 plan. However, users can buy its Play Box Android TV streaming box for as low as Rs 899 to access three months of Netflix for free, two months of ZEE5, one year of Sun NXT and two months of YuppTV; although all these services are only available one-time post which users will have to pay for these services every month.

Jio Fiber Bronze BSNL 500 GB CUL Airtel Basic V-Fiber ACT Silver Promo Hathway Storm-1
Streaming and other services 3 months of JioSaavn, JioCinema subscription, gaming, smart home solutions, device security free Amazon Prime subscription for 1 year Airtel Xstream access
Bundled devices 4K Jio Set-Top-Box

Plan with bundled devices: Rs 699 Jio Fiber – offers a 4K Set-Top-Box (STB)

Plan with Amazon Prime subscription – BSNL Rs 777 plan


After some analysis, it’s clear that all five broadband services are present for users with different individual needs. For starters, Reliance Jio offers the second cheapest plan but with lower data and reduced FUP speeds. To compensate for that, Jio is offering a 4K streaming box and other services under its welcome offer. BSNL, on the other hand, manages to offer users the highest data (500GB) at relatively reasonable speeds of 50Mbps along with an annual subscription to Amazon Prime Video and Music. While Airtel offers a slightly cheaper plan than BSNL, it only offers 100GB of data and Airtel Xstream for content needs. Meanwhile, ACT’s cheapest plan gives users at least 500GB of data at 100Mbps speeds with extra 1000GB data for those who subscribe to 6-month and 12-month plan. At the end of the pipe is Hathway, which does offer the cheapest monthly plan of Rs 649 (if bought for 3 months) but only offers 25GB of data at 5Mbps which is clearly not attractive considering the market demands. With Jio getting into business, its competitors BSNL, Airtel, ACT and Hathway would need newer means to attract new customers and keep holding on their existing ones.


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