The Huawei AI Cube on Three offers unlimited 4G home broadband with a built-in Amazon Alexa speaker from £13/month.

Three is currently offering a Huawei AI Cube B900 router with unlimited data for £13/month for the first six months, followed by £26/month for the remainder of your contract. 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.

Until the 22nd August 2019, customers signing up for a 24 month AI Cube plan will get half price for the first six months. This means you’ll pay just £13/month for the first six months, followed by £26/month.

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 £11.50/month for the first six months, followed by £23/month for the remainder of your plan.

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 two 4G-powered home broadband routers: the HomeFi B311 router which costs £23/month and the AI Cube B900 which costs £26/month. An introductory half price offer is available on both routers, making it just £11.50/month and £13/month for the first six months.

As the more expensive of the two 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 £13/month for the first six months, followed by £26/month on a 24-month contract. Over the course of your contract, this works out at an average cost of £22.75/month.

Alternatively, a shorter 12-month plan is also available costing £30/month with a £29 upfront fee:

Data Allowance Contract Length Upfront Price Monthly Price
Unlimited Data 24 month contract £0 £13/month for 6 months
then £26/month
Unlimited Data 12 month contract £29 £30/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: £26/month for unlimited data
(£13/month for first six months)
£23/month for unlimited data
(£11.50/month for first six months)

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 £23/month (£11.50/month for the first six months). 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 £0.00 £11.50/month for 6 months
then £23/month
Unlimited Data 12 month contract £29.00 £27/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

      • Hi Jodie are you also experiencing Netflix not working when running via the internet from the AI cube? For some reason mine will just not work with Netflix.

        Thanks
        John

  • Lesley Alty said:

    Hi

    We are in a rural area , get 4g on the phones but internet is less than 3mg , would this device work if we get good 4g signal ?
    Thanks

    • Hi Lesley,
      Thanks for your comment. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect the coverage on your AI Cube to be equal or better than the coverage on your smartphone (assuming of course that both devices use coverage from Three). Given that you’re only getting 3Mbit/s on your phone, it’s difficult to say what the data speeds will be like when using an AI Cube. It’s possible that it won’t go much higher than 3Mbit/s (in which case, I’d say the product probably isn’t going to be that suitable for you).
      Ken

    • Hi Weina,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe the AI Cube service should be ready to go as soon as you receive your device? There’s no need to wait for the service to be connected – you just need to pop the SIM card inside the AI Cube.
      Ken

        • Hi Doulton,
          Thanks for your comment. Do you have any more information on why the internet isn’t working for you? For instance, is there an error message on your router or your account?
          Ken

  • Michael Wafer said:

    Hi, I’ve purchased this device (Al Cube). Can you explain what the lights mean, on the top ring? There is a rotating yellow light on it & it’s very distracting/annoying. I can’t find any information on what it means, how to prevent it/accept it!

    • The lights are for Amazon Echo, if they keep going round in a circle that means it’s not connected to an internet connection. May be you need to configure it using the Alexa app? More information on the Alexa / Echo website.

      • Michael Wafer replied:

        I will check, later this week, if this is the problem. Thanks for the reply. I’ll let you know if I get it sorted out.

  • I’m looking at getting this but I don’t really know what kind of wifi signal range this device will put off.

    Will it travel about 20 meters?

    • Hi Nathan,
      Thanks for your comment. As the AI Cube is a mains-powered device, it should give you pretty similar wi-fi range to any other router. I don’t know the exact limits of how far it can travel, but I should have thought that 20 meters would probably be fine (assuming, of course, there weren’t too many obstacles in the way). You have the option of using it with a wi-fi extender or a mesh networking solution if you need to extend the range beyond what the AI Cube can give you.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Stephen Jackson said:

    Hello.

    I am looking at replacing my BT broadband (not fibre) with the AI cube. Can I use by BT in-line power adapters using the ethernet port and BT mini hub to extend the range throughout the house? Also, will it be compatible with my BT Youview set-top box?

    Thank you.

    Stephen

    • Hi Stephen,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I think it should be possible to do this. The Ethernet port on the AI Cube works in exactly the same way as the Ethernet port on a traditional fixed-line broadband router (though you only have the one port). If you need additional ports, you can use an Ethernet switch, or consider something the Huawei B525 router which has 4 Gigabit Ethernet sockets. Regarding Youview, it should just work with your set-top box in the normal way.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Arthur,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can use the AI Cube’s wi-fi connection to watch internet TV on your other devices (e.g. on your laptop, tablet, smart TV, etc). You obviously won’t be able to watch it on the device itself as it doesn’t have a screen.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Matt,
      Thanks for your comment. The AI Cube is designed to connect to Three’s 4G network and produces a Wi-Fi signal for your other devices to connect to. It can therefore replace your current home wi-fi network, so you can cancel whatever home broadband provider you’re using at the moment.
      I believe (though I’m not 100% sure) that it is possible to connect the AI Cube to your existing home wi-fi network and to use it purely as an Alexa smart speaker solution. However, to be totally honest, you’d be much better off choosing something like the Amazon Echo. It’s far cheaper than an AI Cube as you won’t need to pay for the 4G home broadband feature.
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

    • Hi Joe,
      Sadly, that was a time-limited offer that Three ran for a couple of days in April. The price has since gone back up to £25/month.
      Ken

  • John Catterall said:

    The Huawei AI Cube B900
    will there still be support for the Huawei AI Cube from Three after the Trump ban on Huawei products and the likes of Google , UK ISPs etc also banning them ,,,
    l am looking to switch to 3 WiFi for my home internet use …l am at present a 3 Mobile user , so it makes sense to have all my eggs in one basket

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. That’s a great question about the Huawei AI Cube. Whatever happens, the functionality of your existing router shouldn’t change or break. Therefore, I wouldn’t worry too much about it! It’s possible that you’ll stop getting software updates for the device, but I think this is probably more applicable to the smartphones rather than the routers.
      Ken

  • Just started using the Huawei A1 Cube on Three. On Wifi the first day it was showing speeds of around 10mbps, yesterday I connected it with an Ethernet cable and I am lucky if it shows 2mbps at one point it dropped below 1mbps. Any advice is there something I am doing wrong? We tried walking about with the cube and nothing changed. Help please, if this does not drastically improve It will be coming back to you.

    Vince

    • Hi Vince,
      Many thanks for your comment. I’d definitely recommend reading some of the other comments on this blog post, and also over on my blog post about the HomeFi B311 router. There are a lot of things I’d test out, including the placement of your 4G router. Normally, it’s best to place it close to a window (ideally on an upper floor of your house and facing in the direction of your nearest phone mast). Additionally, a 4G antenna will greatly improve download speeds for many people, but it isn’t possible to use this with an AI Cube router (consider something like the Huawei B525 instead, in combination with a standalone Amazon Alexa speaker).
      Hope this helps,
      Ken

  • Hiten Patel said:

    Thank you Ken for putting up the review of the Three AI cube , which i have purchased, and have to say i love it , great download speeds, nice speaker, able to connect via the ethernet port to another router (asus blue cave) giving more ethernet ports. have coonected to my nest heating, hue lights , and connect rest of my devices. I got it for 24 pounds per month for unlimited data . highly recommended

    • David Townsend replied:

      What sort of up and down speeds are you getting on the system now? Could you run Ookla Speedtest on it and report back please?

      Many Thanks
      Dave T

      • Hiten Patel replied:

        Hi Dave , I’ve used the Ookla speed test and am getting 55Mbps downloads and 20Mbs uploads . Now this does vary but on average this is what I’m getting. Hope this helps.

        Many thanks
        Hiten

  • Hi Ken, I have recently purchased and installed a Huawei B525s-65a router for home use. In Wifi setup it shows four SSID’s (two for 2.4GHz & two for 5GHz) .Please could you explain the functions of these additional SSID’s.
    I have also found the Huawei technical information online for this router to be extremely poor and I would like to understand the potential of this router.
    Please could you offfer any links to relevant quality reading for the router above that would help me achieve this.

    • Hi Gerard,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, your best bet would probably be the manual or instruction guide provided by Huawei! With regards to the SSIDs, I understand there are separate SSIDs for the wi-fi networks operating at 2.4GHz and 5GHz. I’m not sure why there are two SSIDs for each frequency however…
      Ken

  • Anyone know if I can use it without a SIM card i.e. simply connecting it to another wi-fi network as you would an Echo?

    I’m thinking about getting one, however I’m just considering how I might use it if after 24mths I decide I don’t want 4G broadband anymore. Rather than it become obsolete, it would be good to use it as another alexa device.

  • Hey
    I just got one AI Cube on Wednesday (4/4) and speed of internet is horrible. Mostly internet is so slow that is showing me that connection was lost. I have to reset it at least few times a day…so my experience is more than bad.

  • I’m currently looking at buy the Huawei AI Cube B900 all I am concerned about is the download speed, as an avid gamer I need this to be good as possible and be able to handle 2 Xbox’s on simultaneously would you recommend that this is a suitable option?

    • Leon Hunter replied:

      I’m no expert bit I’d avoid these options for gaming. Even if you get good download speeds the latency will be twice as slow as a normal broadband connection.

  • Pretty impressed with my AI Cube so far, but it won’t play music from Spotify – Alexa tells me it isn’t supported by this device 🙁

  • Can you connect smart tv’s to this product? I also have a Sonos speaker. Would this connect to 4g internet rather than broadband?

    • Hi Jade,
      Yes, you can indeed connect your Smart TV and Sonos Speaker to the AI Cube. It just produces a wi-fi network that your other devices can connect to (only behind that, it uses 4G technology to connect to the internet, rather than a landline or cable like traditional home broadband).
      Hope this helps!
      Ken

  • Jason Heeney said:

    I just got one of these on Tuesday (26/03) and was shocked by the download speeds, I generally range from 52Mbit/s to 70Mbit/s download speeds, I was expecting it to be in the region of 25-30Mbit/s.

    • Hi Jason,
      That’s really impressive stuff. It’s great to hear that you’ve been getting good download speeds with the AI Cube!
      Ken

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