Everything You Need to Know About Comcast's Xfinity Mobile

Comcast's mobile service due to be announced Thursday will be available on the iPhone. Image Gonzalo Baeza  CC BY 2.0

Comcast is officially pushing into the wireless space with an approach that will heavily rely on its 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots with Xfinity Mobile. Xfinity Mobile, the paper said, is "a way for existing Comcast customers to possibly lower what they pay for cellular data by promising not to cut the cord". Comcast's Xfinity Mobile launch boils down to the simple axiom that it's far more efficient and profitable to keep and sell to your existing customers than land new ones.

In recent months, USA wireless carriers Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), AT&T Inc (T.N), T-Mobile US Inc (TMUS.O) and Sprint Corp (S.N) have offered unlimited data plans ranging from $50 a month for a single line to $90 monthly. That's a consideration that is particularly important for customers who are streaming video, such as the Comcast cable content they will be able to stream with Xfinity Mobile.

There are more than a few caveats about Xfinity Mobile, however.

It's been in the works for a while, and on Thursday Comcast unveiled its Xfinity Mobile service. There's also an "unlimited" data plan, throttled in some unspecified way after 20GB. As a Comcast customer, you'll have choices of unlimited or "By the Gig" plans.

Comcast Corp.is entering the fiercely competitive wireless phone market, just as big carriers like AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are pushing unlimited data plans and jockeying for a piece of Comcast's television turf. Comcast also clarified that no services would be zero-rated over Xfinity Mobile, including its own Stream TV offering. Most notably, AT&T announced its eyebrow-raising $85 billion deal to buy media company Time Warner (TWX - Free Report) past year, in addition to its various moves to diversify into the entertainment industry, like its purchase of DirecTV.

Taxes and fees are not included in that pricing, but there are no activation or access fees. With that said, Xfinity Mobile will support the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone 6s, 6s Plus, and iPhone SE.




Comcast, the largest cable operator in the US, is looking to create new sources of revenue as consumers ditch traditional TV packages and competitors like AT&T and Charter Communications get bigger through acquisitions. Also, customers can only get the $45 option if they have one of Comcast's high-end internet and cable bundles, which start at $150 a month.

Comcast - which has participated in the recent government auction of wireless spectrum, rumored as both a seller of airwaves - can offer the wireless service now because of an agreement it reached six years ago with Verizon.

Comcast will limit the service's rollout to customers within its footprint, which includes major markets like Philadelphia and Chicago. "Not with us", he said. Comcast says it won't put any special restrictions on mobile tethering usage, either.

For Comcast, it's not the first time at the wireless rodeo.

At first glance, though, Xfinity Mobile sounds pretty enticing, and at no extra cost, customers can automatically get up to five phone lines if they choose to add the new plan to their Xfinity Internet service.

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