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Plume Unpacks ‘SuperPods,’ Launches Subscription-Based WiFi Model

Plume, a startup focused on whole-home WiFi products and services, has amplified its retail business with the recent debut of a new line of speedier “SuperPod” devices alongside a subscription-based model.

Plume, which works with ISPs such as Comcast and Bell Canada, in the service provider sector, said its second-gen SuperPods, equipped with a tri-band WiFi radio configuration, are more powerful than their predecessors, and work in tandem with a cloud-based Adaptive WiFi system that orchestrates the home WiFi network and establishes the best wireless paths for devices to connect to.

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The SuperPods are also compatible with Plume’s first-gen Pods, which have dual WiFi radios. Both products simply plug into the wall and are onboarded to the home network and managed via an app.

Plume reasons that SuperPods are needed as consumers need more powerful wireless signals in the home to ship video, including 4K streams, and other high-bandwidth services and apps, as well as apps that require low latencies. Those SuperPods are also designed to match up with higher-level in-home broadband services as cable operators and telcos continue to expand the rollout of 1-Gig service.

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Plume estimates that the original Pod provides consistent speeds of about 100 Mbps to most areas of the home, and that the company has seen that number shoot to about 300 Mbps with the new SuperPod.

Though Plume’s first-gen Pods fulfill the needs of most consumers, “we want to stay ahead of the curve,” Fahri Diner, Plume’s CEO, said in a recent interview.

Plume is also tweaking its retail model with a subscription model ($60 per year, or a one-time fee of $200 for a lifetime subscription) that is paired with lower pricing on WiFi hardware.

The “Fast” configuration under that model includes 1 SuperPod and four Pods for $99, and a “Super Fast” option that provides three SuperPod devices for $199. A configuration for smaller homes provides SuperPod and two Pods for $39. Add-ons run $49 for a single Pod or $99 for a single SuperPod.

In addition to the hardware discounts, membership also factors in other elements such as HomePass (a system that lets users create and share custom passwords for certain devices and for guests), parental controls, free ground deliver of hardware, and 24/7 customer support.

Plume customers with first-gen Pods (as of June 11) get a lifetime Plume membership at no added cost along with access to discounted SuperPods.

“For many consumers, WiFi is the internet,” Diner said.

Though Plume works closely with service providers and doesn’t spend a lot on direct consumer marketing, retail “is an important part of our business strategy, Diner said, noting that the retail model ensures that Plume maintains a direct connection with consumers and can use that feedback to improve its products.

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Comcast has integrated Plume’s technology for the MSO’s current-gen xFi Pods, but hasn’t announced plans to develop a new, faster version that would be akin to the new SuperPod.

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