two very fast boxes, one match of characteristics

There are now two high-end Wi-Fi 6E compatible boxes on the French market. It is about the Orange Livebox 6launched on April 7, and the new version of Bouygues Telecom’s Bbox Fiber, which will be officially available from April 25.

The internet box

Let’s start with the famous WiFi: the Livebox 6 is designed from the ground up for the latest WiFi 6E evolution. This is not the case with the Bbox Fiber which was released more than two years ago and was therefore originally only compatible with Wi-Fi 6.
However, Bouygues Telecom had planned the coup with a scalable product. So he contented himself with changing his modem’s Wi-Fi card to make it tri-band. In fact, Wi-Fi 6E is just a simple evolution of Wi-Fi 6 that allows you to take advantage of the 6 GHz frequency band, in addition to 2.4 and 5 GHz. There is therefore no reason to fear a lower performance on the part of Bouygues Telecom.

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A maximum of three repeaters are supplied with the Livebox 6, two with the Bbox.

The two internet boxes are based on GPON fiber technology, unlike SFR, which was launched at the beginning of the year with the SFR box 8X
Downstream speeds are 2 Gbit/s for Orange and Bouygues Telecom. In contrast, the upstream speed is slightly higher with the Livebox 6, which peaks at 800 Mbit/s against 600 Mbit/s for the Bbox. But nothing prevents Bouygues from giving his upload a boost. It is even expected that it will match Orange’s offer.

On the incumbent side, there is one 2.5 Gbit/s Ethernet port and four 1 Gbit/s ports. Its competitor has one port of 10 Gbit/s and four of 1 Gbit/s, but the commercial offering doesn’t yet allow you to take advantage of 10 Gbit/s at the end of the box.
However, it is a good way to ensure that the machine connected through this port (or router) has the best connection to the Internet now and in the future.

The TV box and the included services

The Livebox 6 does not come with a new TV decoder. It is accompanied by the UHD 4K TV box, which allows 300 hours of recording. The fiber Bbox is available with the 4K TV HDR Decoder which was launched on February 28th. It is an Android box based on the Google application universe. It includes up to 100 hours of recording.

Orange’s Replay Max feature provides access to delayed linear television programs for 24 months, as well as MyTF1 Max and 6playMax HD ad-free. There is no specific advantage with the Bouygues decoder, other than six months of free access to Salto.

A second decoder or a TV key can be supplied on request from Orange, which is not the case with Bouygues.

The Livebox 6 also comes with a 4G Airbox router of 20 GB per month. A 4G key is also available from Bouygues but is only offered if the box is activated or in case of a problem and moving.

For both operators it is unlimited calls from fixed to mobile in Europe. Orange also includes those to the US and Canada.

The Livebox 6 is the most expensive box on the market

The Livebox 6 will be launched through a new Livebox offer that will cost €34.99 per month for new customers for the first year, then €54.99 per month thereafter. Former subscribers must immediately pay the 54.99 euros per month to be able to take advantage of this.
The Bbox Fiber is accessible with the Bbox Ultym offer for 28.99 euros per month the first year, then 46.99 euros per month. Eight euros difference, that’s quite a gap.

And this is the main criticism that can be made of Orange. The new Livebox 6 is the most expensive on the market. It is even four euros above the SFR Box 8X, which already peaked at 50 euros per month.

In conclusion, we can say that the two boxes are strictly technically close to each other. With a small advantage for the Livebox 6 because of its uplink speed of 800 Mbit/s. Orange is also introducing more additional services in its commercial offer. Is that enough to justify such a price difference? On paper, you might be tempted to say no. We should see the differences in usage.

But we feel like we’re on an uptrend in fiber box prices. After giving in to commercial gestures to convince subscribers to use this technology, it’s time to make the infrastructure profitable.

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