BT Halo 3+ launches with unbreakable Wi-Fi claim
The headline of unbreakable Wi-Fi in the news about the new BT Halo 3+ product sounds like something from a sc-fi film and one presumes in the various clauses they do state that the product does require mains power to be working at the property.
BT Halo 3+ is building on the previous Halo options and Complete Wi-Fi solution (i.e. the up to 3 Wi-Fi mesh discs) by adding a 4G failover that utilises the EE 4G network. In other words if the broadband VDSL2 or FTTP fails the Hybrid Connect device in conjunction with the Smart Hub 2 will route your data over the mobile network. Speeds received will vary depending on what 4G signal is available.
The integration of 4G and 5G is not complete as if the plans from a press conference a year or two ago suggested the eventual aim is seamless combination of the fixed broadband and 4G to boost speeds.
BT Halo 3+ starts at £65.99 per month and the feature list looks like
- Hybrid Connect, BT’s game-changing hybrid device
- Smart Hub 2, including wi-fi Controls to help families manage screen time
- Complete Wi-Fi for reliable connectivity in every room
- Full Fibre upgrade at no extra cost
- BT’s Home Tech Experts offering in-home wi-fi support
- BT’s Price Promise, with no end of contract price rises
- BT Mobile and EE mobile benefits
Assuming the service is built around the Superfast 2 tier again this retails for around £29.99 to £31.99/m during the 2 year minimum term, so the cost of the additional benefits is not cheap but for those seeking piece of mind or avoiding meltdowns from teenagers whose precious Wi-Fi has vanished may be more than happy to pay the price.
The full fibre upgrade at no extra cost we presume is to the same speed tier so the benefit here is that assuming BT is quick off the ball people will be some of the first on their street to get the upgrade, lockdown rules permitting.
Having lived now with BT FTTP for some six months now, other than two times at night when the Smart Hub 2 appears to have rebooted and one actual fibre outage when an engineer was trying to connect another property back at a splitter there has been no downtime. So utilisation of the Hybrid Connect device once you've gone to FTTP is going to be minimal but would guard against storm damage to overhead fibre or vandalism to the network.
We've not seen the Hybrid device itself yet or had a chance to play with one to see how really seamless it is, e.g. if in a zoom call will the drop in fixed line broadband and switch over to 4G be completely seamless.