Comcast Announces Cellular Plans on Verizon Network

Posted April 07, 2017

Comcast has access to 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, including many piggybacking off residential home internet. The new branded Xfinity Mobile service, as it is called, leverages Verizon Wireless' network and launches mid-year.

Today Comcast announced Xfinity Mobile, which will launch soon.

Use the Xfinity Mobile app to view your data use and call logs in real time, manage payment options, switch back-and-forth between data options, order a new device or add additional lines.

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

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Comcast is hoping the attractive pricing for its wireless services will help reduce cable-cutting - the dread practice of consumers getting rid of their cable service and relying on over-the-air and streaming video. It isn't available outside the company's 50 million household footprint.

If you subscribe to any Comcast internet service below that, you can get an "unlimited" plan for $65 a month per line. And sure enough, the company has officially unveiled just that.

If the service seems appealing, you'll need to be a Comcast customer to sign-up. Finally, the carrier won't have any of those pesky line access fees either.

If you're using a lot of data one month, you can switch to the unlimited plan mid-month without any penalty in order to save money, and then switch back to per-gigabyte pricing the next month. That's a bit higher than the $10 Google charges for its similar offering via its Project Fi service. The same type of plan will cost you $80 a month, if you sign up directly through Verizon-though you can get Verizon service for as little as $35 a month if you're okay using only 2GB of data. All you will pay for is data usage.

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The monthly wireless plans include unlimited data, in keeping with recent trends in the industry. A source pointed out the reference to FierceWireless, and a different source with knowledge of the matter confirmed that Comcast has indeed partnered with Apple ahead of the launch of Xfinity Mobile.

While wireless carriers are contending with slowed growth and a cutthroat price war, cable companies like Comcast are navigating a saturated pay-TV business under assault from cord-cutting and low-priced online video options. The "best devices" from Samsung and LG will also be available.

For Comcast, this could be a way to test out the wireless business before it makes a major investment in it. The 24/7 throttling after 20GB could limit the amount Comcast has to pay Verizon. At 59, it's one of the lowest in the ISPs group, and at 62, it's below average for "subscription television services".

Verizon, which has more than 114 million retail customers, has downplayed that Comcast is a competitive threat.

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The service Comcast is selling will be essentially the same as a Verizon plan, though Comcast will reduce speeds on unlimited plans after 20 gigabytes.