Following in the footsteps of major ISPs in North America and Europe, Japanese ISP J:COM is offering Plume superpods directly to its customers.

Enlarge / Following in the footsteps of major ISPs in North America and Europe, Japanese ISP J:COM is offering Plume superpods directly to its customers. (credit: J:COM)

Wi-Fi mesh provider Plume announced a deal with another major ISP Thursday. J:COM—the largest cable-TV operator in Japan, with 5.5 million subscribers—is now offering Plume technology in its cable boxes and Plume pods and superpods to its customers for additional coverage where needed.

This is Plume's first deal in Asia, and it follows similar deals with large ISPs in America, Canada, and Europe such as Comcast, Bell Canada, Armstrong, TalkTalk, and more. Plume has been crystal clear since its launch that embedded distribution within ISPs was a primary goal, with direct sales to retail customers being as much for the PR as for the business itself. With large ISP partners on three continents, Plume seems to be making significant progress toward that goal.

ISP partners so far all follow a monthly "subscription" model, with little or no up-front cost and a small monthly fee per pod. This is the model Plume itself favors. To wit, the company quietly deprecated its earlier lifetime membership option earlier this year (grandfathering in the existing lifetime membership customers), and it now only offers new customers $100 per year annual memberships. ISPs most commonly charge $5 or $6 (or equivalent) per month, sometimes with additional fees for extra pods.

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