Orange unveiled its Livebox 6 on Wednesday morning, a new internet box compatible with WiFi 6E. A brief summary of its qualities and its defects.
One day, Livebox 6 could have been the first carrier box to support WiFi 6E. However, Bouygues will have removed the carpet from under him the day before. This in no way detracts from the qualities of this Livebox 6 first introduced in VR. ” in the metavers “.
Uses have changed, operators are adapting
Uses change. With Covid, our way of life has been permanently revolutionized, and this is just the beginning. According to OpinionWay, 61% of French and French people have discovered new uses for the Internet in the last two years, such as teleworking, video conferencing and teleconsultation. These uses have experienced exceptional growth on this occasion and have established themselves as a new way of thinking about our interactions. Coincidentally, the development of the Livebox began in March 2020, in full confinement.
According to Fabienne Dulac, Orange’s Deputy General Manager, we have gained 5 years [d’évolution] in just 2 years »And the future has yet to be written with the eyes obviously directed towards the metavers, present in everyone’s mouth, although few are currently perceiving a real interest in it. This is also why this press conference was preceded by a quick presentation in virtual reality: in the room, about thirty journalists put an Oculus connected by WiFi to a Livebox 6 to show the resistance and stability of the network, because this is the main interest of this Livebox 6: WiFi.
The latest generation of WiFi
Livebox 6 is therefore the second WiFi 6E compatible box after the Bouygues Bbox ultym. This new standard is based on the use of the 6 GHz band (in addition to the traditional 2.4 and 5 GHz bands), which is less congested and therefore faster, smoother and more reliable in homes with a very large number of connected devices. Orange promises to be able to offer download speeds of up to 2 Gb / s wireless, ie three times more than that offered by a Livebox on WiFi 5. During the tests we did, we were able to reach 1800 Mb / s for 600 Mb / s upload speed in a Pixel 6.
Livebox 6’s cable connection is also gaining momentum. As expected, the Livebox 6 offers 5 Ethernet ports: 4 can offer a speed of up to 1 Gb / s and the latter, theoretically, up to 2.5 Gb / s, for 800 Mb / s inload(and up to 1 Gb / s for the Pro).
No symmetrical flow
At a time when Free and SFR offer symmetrical (theoretical) speeds of up to 8 Gb / s with 10G-EPON technologies for Free and XGS-PON for SFR, one might wonder that the first access provider the Internet is limited to such “low speeds.” However, to take advantage of this technology, the entire core network needs to be reviewed and very few users could currently benefit from it.
In addition, there are currently few compatible devices and extremely limited uses in the context of a consumer home. If this is clearly the future, Orange, therefore, prefers to stick to more current technologies, to offer in a few years a new box that will take the next step with Wi-Fi 7 in particular.
At the technical level, this can be justified, but from an ecological point of view, this runs the risk of pushing a number of users to renew their computers in a few years instead of maintaining their Livebox 6. A a point that can therefore be argued, especially because the historic ISP shows great ecological ambitions.
Ecology at the heart of Orange’s speech
Because yes, ecology is an important point in communication around Livebox 6 in order to adhere to the company’s net carbon 0 target by 2040 in all its activities. First in its design (with recycled and recyclable plastic and greater repairability), then in its elegant packaging, but also in its basic operation and energy consumption.
A connected Livebox, however “idle(without data transfer) consumes, according to Orange, between 8 and 10 W. With Livebox 6, Orange has integrated two standby modes that can be activated from the Orange & Me application. The first one cuts off the main functions of the box (WiFi, etc.), but leaves the phone active so you can stay accessible. This simple function, however, requires keeping the deepest layers of the box active and, therefore, the savings are minimal: just over 25% for 5 W consumption.
The second mode immerses the box in a deep standby state and then consumes only 0.5 W. However, you will lose the home automation features required by a LAN (surveillance cameras, connected speakers, etc.) for minimal savings. Fortunately, it is possible to schedule timeouts or manage it remotely from your application.
With the same kind of detail, the Wi-Fi 6E band automatically shuts off when no compatible device is available to save some power. On the scale of a home, it’s insignificant, but on the scale of millions of Orange customers, it’s just that …
A more restrictive Livebox Max plan than anything else
Livebox 6 comes with a new package: the Livebox Max offering. This allows you to exceed the limit of 1 Gb / s per device and make the most of the capabilities of the box. It is also a little more expensive: 34.99 euros a month for the first 12 months, and then 54.99 euros a month. Overcoming the psychological barrier of 50 euros with few changes while a router (by the way, expensive) attached to a Livebox 5 is enough to take advantage of Wi-Fi 6E, Orange is not able to flood the market with its new products. . .
The offer is obviously available in Open format (quadruple play with telephone plan) from 57.99 euros per month (33.99 euros in the first year). For a phone plan with 70 GB of data, however, you will have to pay 42.99 euros per month for the first year, then 76.99 euros.
All offers will be available from Thursday 7 April via the following link, in mainland France, but also in Reunion, Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique:
It’s expensive, but Orange raises several points to justify this price: up to 3 WiFi repeaters, a wall mount available for free on request, the second free TV set-top box, and its Internet Start service (which offers 200 GB in 4G to new customers waiting for their line to be activated), but also their after-sales service in case of a move or breakdown and the simplicity of their box.
Livebox 6 is easy to use
With its new sleek, vertical design (in order to focus the Wi-Fi antennas on top and improve the broadcasting of the waves), the Livebox 6 displays all the information from your electronic ink screen to your touch screen . There is, for example, a QR code to facilitate pairing, as well as an extremely simplified initialization for installation. The box even reconnects all your connected devices to an old box if you are already an Orange customer.
Will that be enough to justify the 55 euros a month as long as the TV set-top box does not evolve alongside it? To own…