The Huawei AI Cube on Three offers unlimited 4G home broadband with a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker from £25/month.

Three is currently offering a Huawei AI Cube B900 router with unlimited data for £25/month.

The AI Cube router, which also doubles up as an Amazon Alexa smart speaker, gives you high-speed 4G broadband on up to 64 devices. This is delivered without the need for a phone line or cable, making it a potential alternative for fixed home broadband.

In this article, we’ll review the Huawei AI Cube B900 router from Three, including the price plans available and the capabilities of the device. We’ll also compare it to alternative devices like the HomeFi router which is available for £21/month and the Huawei B535 WebBox which is available for £23/month.

AI Cube Price Plans

For many people, 4G technology now provides a viable alternative to fixed home broadband that’s delivered through a phone line or cable. As it uses mobile network technology, you can get a high-speed broadband service that isn’t restricted by the speeds you can get through a phone line or cable. You can also get your broadband connection set up quickly without an engineer visit, and there’s the flexibility to bring your broadband connection with you to other places.

At present, Three offers a choice of three 4G-powered home broadband routers: the HomeFi B311 router which costs £21/month, the Huawei B535 WebBox which costs £23/month, and the AI Cube B900 which costs £25/month.

As the most expensive of the three devices, the AI Cube B900 supports higher download speeds on 4G (up to 300Mbit/s rather than 150Mbit/s). It also supports dual-band Wi-Fi and doubles up as an Amazon Alexa smart speaker. This means you can use the AI Cube to control smart home devices and for listening to music.

The Huawei AI Cube B900 is available on two price plans at present. There’s an unlimited data plan costing £25/month with no upfront cost on a 24-month contract. Alternatively, a shorter 12-month plan is also available costing £32/month with a £49 upfront fee:

Data Allowance Contract Length Upfront Price Monthly Price
Unlimited Data 24 month contract £0 £25/month
Unlimited Data 12 month contract £49 £32/month

The AI Cube is also available on a range of Pay As You Go plans from £210.

See all Three AI Cube Deals →

If you replace your fixed line broadband connection with an AI Cube router, it may be possible to cancel your landline connection. This can save you around £20/month, offsetting much of the cost of getting an AI Cube router. You’ll need to find an alternative way to make phone calls if you do this (e.g. using your mobile phone instead of a landline, or making internet-based phone calls using your AI Cube).

As an alternative to buying the AI Cube from Three, you can also buy the Huawei AI Cube at Amazon for around £220. Note that you’ll still need to get a SIM card separately for your AI Cube if you do this, so it’s likely the overall cost will be more (as you’ll typically need to pay at least £20/month for an unlimited data SIM card).

Huawei AI Cube B900

The Huawei AI Cube B900 is Three’s higher-end 4G home broadband router. The router supports Category 6 LTE speeds (up to 300Mbit/s download and 50Mbit/s upload). However, most users will get a more realistic download speed of around 30Mbit/s depending on location. The AI Cube’s home broadband service can be shared with up to 64 devices at one time using the dual-band wi-fi connection. There’s also an Ethernet socket for connecting a wired device to your network.

In addition to working as a 4G router, the AI Cube doubles up as a smart speaker solution. It has four built-in microphones with far-field voice recognition and a 360° speaker. This means you can use it in much the same way as you would an Amazon Echo (for instance, to control your smart home devices, to make internet-based phone calls and to listen to music through online steaming services). The AI Cube’s interface allows you to control everything by voice, simply by asking Alexa to do something for you.

In our opinion, there are some major benefits to choosing the AI Cube over the regular HomeFi router. For starters, you’ll get Category 6 LTE support giving maximum download speeds of up to 300Mbit/s (this compares to 150Mbit/s on the HomeFi). You’ll also get dual-band wi-fi support (including 802.11ac wi-fi at 5GHz). On the AI Cube, you can also have up to 64 devices connected to your wi-fi network, versus just 32 devices on the HomeFi. Combine all of this with the Alexa-powered smart speaker and you’re getting quite a lot more for the extra £3/month.

The AI Cube can be used to control your home and to listen to music, in addition to being a router.

On the other hand, being a 2-in-1 device, there are some trade-offs to be made in the AI Cube’s design. For instance, the optimal location to place a smart speaker in your home is normally fairly centrally in the living room. This may differ from the optimal location for a 4G router which is often closer to a window sill (to maximise the signal strength of your 4G connection). The AI Cube also lacks support for an external antenna, meaning this option isn’t available to you for improving the coverage on your device.

For customers living in an urban area with fairly good mobile coverage, the trade-offs required to use an AI Cube are probably fairly small (you can benefit from the faster speeds and the Alexa capabilities, and you probably didn’t need to use the external antenna capabilities anyway). However, for customers living in a rural area with much poorer coverage, the more traditional router will probably be a much safer bet.

The following table shows a side-by-side comparison of the AI Cube B900 and the HomeFi B311:

Huawei AI Cube B900 Huawei HomeFi B311
Mobile Connectivity
4G Speeds: Up to 300Mbit/s download
(Category 6 LTE)
Up to 150Mbit/s download
(Category 4 LTE)
4G Bands: LTE Bands 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 32 & 38 LTE Bands 1, 3, 7, 8 & 20
External Antenna Connector: No Yes, external SMA antenna
Home Network Connectivity
Wi-Fi Connectivity: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
(2.4GHz & 5GHz dual-band)
802.11b/g/n
(2.4GHz only)
Wi-Fi Devices: Up to 64 devices Up to 32 devices
Ethernet: 1 Gigabit Ethernet port 1 Gigabit Ethernet port
Other
Other Features: 360° smart speaker with Amazon Alexa
Price: £25/month for unlimited data £21/month for unlimited data

You can see the full specifications for Huawei’s AI Cube B900 on Three’s website.

As an alternative to both of the above, you can also consider buying a separate, unlocked router. For instance, the Huawei B525 router is available for around £120. Like the AI Cube, it supports Category 6 LTE speeds (up to 300Mbit/s download speeds) and dual-band 802.11ac wi-fi on up to 64 devices. It also has 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets, a RJ11 telephone socket and a SMA socket for you to connect an external antenna to the router. This can be combined with an unlimited data SIM card from Three, giving the best of both worlds (higher download speeds without needing to compromise on coverage).

You can combine the Huawei B525 router with something like a standalone Amazon Echo speaker. This is available for about £60. A standalone Amazon Echo can be placed anywhere in your home: it isn’t necessary to balance this against where you’ll get the best 4G network coverage.

Alternatives

The closest alternative to an AI Cube is Three’s regular HomeFi service which costs £21/month. The HomeFi can also be used on a 12-month contract or on Pay As You Go.

The following table shows a list of available price plans for the HomeFi:

Data Allowance Contract Length Upfront Price Monthly Price
Unlimited Data 24 month contract £0 £21/month
Unlimited Data 12 month contract £29 £26/month
1GB Data (1 month validity) Pay As You Go £59.99 Top-up as required*
3GB Data (3 month validity) Pay As You Go £65.99 Top-up as required*
12GB Data (12 month validity) Pay As You Go £89.99 Top-up as required*
24GB Data (24 month validity) Pay As You Go £109.99 Top-up as required*

* Customers with a HomeFi on Pay As You Go can use the Data Reward plan. This offers 200MB of free data per month, with further usage costing 1p/MB.

For more information, please read our in-depth review of the HomeFi service or see the HomeFi on Three’s website.

Other Mobile Networks

If you’d like to look at 4G and 5G-powered home broadband solutions from other mobile networks, you can also consider Vodafone’s GigaCube along with EE’s 4GEE Home Router and 5GEE WiFi.

Vodafone’s GigaCube service starts from £30/month and comes with either a Huawei B528 4G router or a Huawei 5G CPE Pro router. On the entry-level £30/month plan, you’ll only get 100GB of data included. This increases to 200GB for £40/month and unlimited data for £50/month. There’s also an upfront fee of up to £325, depending on the router you choose and the length of your contract.

Data Allowance Contract Length Upfront Price Monthly Price
Vodafone GigaCube 4G Plans:
100GB Data 18 month contract £0 £30/month
100GB Data 1 month contract £100 £30/month
200GB Data 18 month contract £0 £40/month
200GB Data 1 month contract £100 £40/month
Unlimited Data 18 month contract £0 £50/month
Unlimited Data 1 month contract £100 £50/month
Vodafone GigaCube 5G Plans:
100GB Data 18 month contract £100 £30/month
100GB Data 1 month contract £325 £30/month
200GB Data 18 month contract £50 £40/month
200GB Data 1 month contract £325 £40/month
Unlimited Data 18 month contract £50 £50/month
Unlimited Data 1 month contract £325 £50/month

See the Vodafone website for more information or read our full review of the Vodafone GigaCube. On Vodafone, 5G coverage is currently available in 7 towns and cities.

On EE, you can get an Alcatel-produced 4G Home Router from £35/month on an 18-month contract. This only includes 50GB of data on the most basic price plan, whereas most users will want to choose a plan with at least 200GB of data per month. This is likely to cost you around £50 per month:

Data Allowance Contract Length Upfront Price Monthly Price
50GB Data 18 month contract £0.00 £35/month
100GB Data 18 month contract £0.00 £45/month
200GB Data 18 month contract £0.00 £50/month
300GB Data 18 month contract £0.00 £80/month
500GB Data 18 month contract £0.00 £100/month

For more information, read our full review of EE’s 4G home broadband service or visit the EE website.

More recently, EE have launched a 5G home broadband service in selected areas under the 5GEE WiFi brand. You’ll get a HTC 5G Hub router from £50/month for 50GB of data. Unfortunately, the largest data allowance available is just 100GB for £75/month.

Data Allowance Contract Length Upfront Price Monthly Price
50GB Data 24 month contract £100 £50/month
100GB Data 24 month contract £100 £75/month

Please see the EE website for more information or read our full review of 5GEE WiFi.

Coverage

Three offers 99.8% population coverage on its 4G network and 98.7% population coverage on its 3G network.

Before purchasing an AI Cube on Three, it’s strongly recommended that you check the coverage in your area. You can do this by entering your postcode on Three’s online coverage map.

Check Three Coverage (three.co.uk) →

If you’re travelling abroad, it’s also possible to use the AI Cube in other countries through the Go Roam offer.

For more information about the coverage on different mobile networks, please see our in-depth guide to mobile network coverage in the UK.

More Information

For more information about the AI Cube and Three’s mobile broadband service, please see Three’s official website.

Your Comments 51 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 51 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

  • Its great for gaming and i get high speeds around the 50-60 meg range the people getting slow speeds need to move the device position around to find best place in house. They may not be in a very good coverage are if speeds are still low. Should do research before buying like I did I went from 14meg fibre with sky and paying line rental. to 60 meg. also three messed me about abit and quoted me wrong so I got the it for £20,a month and they credited my account with 2 lots of £50 quid after they messed up again. basically got great wifi for free for 5 months. Then only 20 a month after… lol.. Would Recommend check your 4g coverage. Spotify thing is annoying though we connect to it by bluetooth with phone so spotify still works though..kinda annoying its unsupported. But you can just call out radio 1 or kisstory or have amazon music. but we have spotify so no point. its not a big deal anyway.. The speeds and price make up for it with a nice design and no phone line.. Great

    • Hi Jacob,
      Thanks for sharing your feedback! Great to hear about the 50-60Mbit/s speeds you’re getting on the AI Cube, and also some great tips there on trying out different positions for the router. Sadly, one thing that does make this a bit more complex with the AI Cube is the fact people often want their smart speakers in the centre of their living room rather than in an upstairs bedroom where the signal strength might be a lot better. In my opinion, this is one of the downsides of having a two-in-one device as opposed to having a simpler router (like the HomeFi or the Huawei B525) and a separate Amazon Echo speaker.
      Ken

    • Hi Simin,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the Huawei AI Cube B900 doesn’t support 5G technology. I believe, however, the SIM card and price plan should be fine for 5G as Three are not charging any extra for this. You can therefore simply upgrade to a 5G router at a later date to get access to 5G.
      Ken

  • John Groves said:

    Hi

    Does anyone have any update on the Spotify issue with the AI cube as it would be great if it would function just as my Amazon echo does. After all it does say it’s an Alexa device.

    Thanks

    John

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