BT has taken the wraps off of the new BT Home Hub 5, the upcoming dual band wireless router aimed at BT Infinity fibre broadband customers.
During a demo at the BT Tower we were able to get some quick hands on time with the Home Hub 5 and learn a bit more about its credentials.
While BT’s general manager for consumer broadband David McDonald and general manager for Home Hub development Adrian Pote remained tight-lipped on the finer technical mintuae, they did reveal three key points about the Home Hub 5.
Read Recombu Digital’s guides to Setting up a Wireless Home Network and What is a Router?Firstly, it’s a dual-band WiFi AC router. This means that it will have a much stronger wireless signal less plagued by interference and provide much faster speeds (theoretically up to 1Gbps) around the home.
Secondly, the new Home Hub is also a consolidated VDSL modem and router. Designed to work with the BT Infinity 1 and 2 FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) products, this means you won’t need to have a separate Openreach VDSL modem installed in your home.
Like EE’s Bright Box 2 which we saw last week, the Home Hub 5 is small enough to be posted through a letter box and is designed for a simple set up. This does not necessarily mean you’ll have the option of installing everything yourself.
McDonald said that while BT is heavily involved with self-install trials, it doesn’t have any active plans to launch it, but at the same time it’s not being ruled out.
“For us the jury’s still out on self-install,” McDonald explains. “We know from our own research that the number one problem customers have with the superfast product comes from the customer’s home.
“Having an Openreach engineer in the house to troubleshoot any problems with wiring in the home and interference is one of the key points that enables us to deliver superfast broadband. There is no hard link between Home Hub 5 and self-install and whatever happens, BT will always provide an engineer visit for customers should they want it.”
Thirdly and finally, the BT Home Hub 5 will come with four gigabit ethernet ports on the back. These will provide dedicated, wired connections for the devices that need them. The current BT Home Hub 4 has only one, meaning busy homes have to choose who gets it, the power PC user or the hardcore console gamer.
When asked about price, BT spokespeople revealed that the Home Hub 5 would be offered for free to new customers. Existing customers will have to pay to upgrade. While nobody would comment on the price, we understand that it will be offered at a similar price as the Home Hub 4 – £35 – for those who wanted to upgrade.
No launch date for the Home Hub 5 has been given yet but it will be available at some point later this year.
Update: Our hands-on video is now live.