Plume, a Wi-Fi mesh system startup, has introduced a new product and a new business model for home Wi-Fi.
Plume’s new subscription model costs US$60 per year or US$200 for lifetime. If users don’t pay the fee, their home Wi-Fi will stop working. Instead of charging a flat Wi-Fi router fee, Plume sells its router device at a low price while charging customers every year.
Subscribers can purchase a three-pack router set (two dual-band routers and one tri-band router) for US$39. The package originally costs US$179 without subscription.
The subscription service, called Plume’s Adaptive WiFi, also offers parental controls, speed tests, Wi-Fi auto-optimization for various devices, and Plume Home Pass, which creates unique Wi-Fi passwords personalized for guests.
Fahri Diner, CEO of Plume, told The Verge that Plume aims to provide many additional services as part of the subscription plan so that consumers are more willing to stay in the plan.
“If the customer doesn’t want to renew, it won’t be because of the price. They will be unhappy for us for one reason or another,” said Diner.
Plume isn’t the only Wi-Fi system company to offer a subscription plan. Eero provides a subscription plan for additional security features using mesh Wi-Fi routers. However, users’ Eero routers will continue to function without subscription.
Since most homeowners don’t renew their Wi-Fi routers often, Plume’s new move aims to secure revenues. However, it’s not certain how consumers will respond to this new paid plan for home Wi-Fi.
Current Plume users aren’t required to pay the subscription fee to use Wi-Fi routers. And they can enjoy the new additional features for a fee, as a reward for supporting Plume in the startup’s early stage.
As for the new product, Plume has introduced a new tri-band router called Plume SuperPod. It features eight channels and two Ethernet ports. Its first product, the Plume Pod which debuted in 2016, was a dual-band router with four channels and one Ethernet port.
The subscription plan begins with new Plume customers. And the Plume SuperPod will start shipping on June 21.