Shoring up its whole-home WiFi tech strategy, Comcast has begun to roll out complementary “xFi Pod” devices that plug into the wall and work in tandem with the MSO’s primary gateways, including a new gigabit gateway that uses DOCSIS 3.1 technology and 802.11ac version 2.
Comcast’s new hexagon-shaped xFi Pods, developed in partnership with Plume, are designed to create an in-home mesh network that can extend the reach of WiFi into all corners of the home. Those devices also work with Comcast’s new cloud-based, xFi-branded WiFi management platform that was introduced in May.
Comcast began to deploy the new xFi Pods in Boston and Chicago today, and expects to introduce the products on a national basis next year, Eric Schaefer, SVP and GM of communications, data and mobility services at Comcast, explained in a blog post.
He noted that the new devices are activated using the xFi mobile app for iOS or Android.
Though the latest gateways provide solid WiFi signals and coverage can be tweaked based on their placement in the home, “there are homes that have unique WiFi challenges due to their size, shape, age, or construction materials,” Schaefer noted. “That’s where xFi Pods come in.”
Comcast has been asked for pricing on the xFi Pods, but the company is selling them in packs – a 3-Pod pack for homes with three to four bedrooms (and basements and attics), and 6-Pod packs recommended for homes with five or more bedrooms and L-shaped additions and rooms on multiple stories.
Update: Comcast said the pack of three xFi Pods sell for $119, and the pack of six goes for $199.