Home - , , , - Updated 7/2: Spectrum Mobile Launches - No iPhones, No BYOP and Pricier Than Xfinity Mobile

Updated 7/2: Spectrum Mobile Launches - No iPhones, No BYOP and Pricier Than Xfinity Mobile

As expected, Spectrum Wireless launched today. Spectrum is a Verizon MVNO from cable broadband and TV provider, Charter Communications. In launching an MVNO, Charter is following in the footsteps of its cable rival Comcast which unveiled its Xfinity Mobile a year ago. Spectrum Wireless and Xfinity Mobile are similar in many respects but there are also some significant differences.

Similarities between Spectrum and Xfinity include that both run on the Verizon network and have two plans, an "Unlimited" one with unlimited talk, messaging and data and a "By the Gig" plan where voice and messaging are unlimited and data is charged based on usage. Both cable MVNOs let users connect to their networks of WiFi hotspots at no charge and are only available to customers of their respective cable broadband services. Both Spectrum and Xfinity throttle video streams to force 480p or lower resolution and add taxes and fees on top of plan prices.

Here are details of Spectrum's plans and how they are different than Xfinity's.

By the Gig: Includes unlimited voice and messaging and 1 GB of data for $14/month. Each additional whole or partial GB of data costs another $14. Hotspot is allowed with no speed restrictions. Up to four lines can be added at no cost, with all lines data use combined. Xfinity charges less, $12 per GB and doesn't charge for the first 100 MB of data used. That means that light data users get free (except for taxes and fees) talk and text on Xfinity but pay $14 on Spectrum.

Update 7/2: it's not clear whether the first 100 MB is free on Spectrum or not. The Spectrum site says "Each By the Gig line is charged in advance for the first GB of data per bill cycle" which implies that users are charged $14 even if they use no data. However a couple of prospective users have reported that if they go through the check out process a screen appears that includes, "By the Gig, $14/GB, Based on Use, 100 MB included". Prepaid Phone News reader Here or There posted a screenshot on HowardForums showing the "100 MB included" verbiage.

Unlimited: $45/month for unlimited voice, messaging and data with the first 20 GB at high speeds and the rest throttled to an unspecified slower speed, probably 128 kbps. Hotspot is supported but is throttled to 600 kbps after 5 GB. All hotspot usage counts toward your high speed data cap.  Spectrum's Unlimited Plan seems to be identical to Xfinity's in price, features and limitations. 

Both Spectrum and Xfinity's MVNOs charge an extra monthly fee if a user cancels their cable broadband service. With Xfinity the fee is $10/month but with Spectrum it's $20/month.

Spectrum doesn't allow customers to use their own phones with its service. Xfinity allows customers to bring their own phones as long as they are iPhones. Spectrum Mobile customers must purchase a new phone from Spectrum. At launch their are only five phones available and none of them are iPhones. The available phones are:

  • LG K30 $179.99 or $7.50/month for 24 months.
  • Samsung Galaxy S8 $599.99 or $25/month for 24 months.
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+ $699.99 or $29.17/month for 24 months.
  • Samsung Galaxy S9 $749.99 or $31.25/month for 24 months.
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ $849.99 or $35.42/month for 24 months.

With pricey phones, no BYOP, no iPhones and higher prices, Spectrum Mobile doesn't seem very competitive compared with Xfinity Mobile. Of course the two MVNOs don't really compete with each other. Spectrum Mobile is only available to Charter cable customers and Xfinity Mobile is only available to Comcast cable users and the two cable brands are rarely, if ever, available at the same address. The real purpose of both cable MVNOs seems to be to help retain cable subscribers by offering a bundle of cable and wireless that's cheaper overall than combining a lower cost broadband provider with a Verizon or other postpaid wireless plan.

Source: Spectrum Mobile

23 comments:

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  1. 100GB or is it supposed to be 100MB free?

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  2. "Xfinity charges less, $12 per GB and doesn't charge for the first 100 GB of data used."

    Did you mean to say 100MB?

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  3. "Hotspot is supported but is throttled to 600 mbps after 5 GB."

    Did you mean to say 600Kbps?

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  4. wait see what happens when at&t fully confert time warner over because i don't want my money stolen form them.

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  5. The $14 a month can easily top $20 in parts of California, so they are not all that competitive vs a lot of prepaid plans that do not add taxes/fees.

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    1. They don't have to be competitive,For them the $14 a month is almost pure profit, It cost them only $5 per GB, so they can have just 1 customer on their Mobile plans,they don't have a minimum number of customers to sign up to get that price from
      Verizon.

      Delete
  6. No iPhones is fine. I have yet to find an Apple product or service worth paying for.

    but the lack of bring your own phone typically means crippled crappy overpriced burners are the only choice.

    this deal reminds me of Charter Spectrum and its Infamous channel packages which are very expensive and they force you to pay for garbage channels no one would ever watch anyway. the cable leopard cannot change its spots. Who am I kidding? The leopard is fast. I mean, the cable tortoise cannot change its shell.

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  7. Spectrum is at least $915/yr for a current gen phone, the discounted price is tied to your cable subscription, and the phone is locked down for two whole years.

    Otherwise it's $1290 for the first year if you unlock the S9, $1155 if you cut the cord or change cable providers, and a whole $1530/yr for an unlocked current gen Samsung flagship with full price unbundled Spectrum service.

    Then there's all those taxes and fees they'll tack on, jacking the cost up even higher.

    In contrast, Cricket is around $700 with autopay, Target deals, and an unlocked current-gen Moto g6, the latter of which you completely own and can take to any carrier except Spectrum.

    They're also independent of whatever other services you might have, and taxes are included in the price.

    All in all, you'll be paying an extra $300 just to be handcuffed to Spectrum for two years, which really isn't worth it.

    But unless you need constant hand-holding, bro-hugging and cheerleading by Charter's customer service reps, there's literally no good reason for spending the extra dosh.

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  8. I was tempted to try service when I researched Xfinity Mobile and assumed they would be similar. Boy was I wrong. I hope they fail quickly and fail hard. It's such an odd plan offering. The marketing geniuses at Charter must know less than your average prepaid news reader. They don't offer BYOD, charge way too much for a GB. Sure it's on Verizon but at inferior speeds and deprioritized? No thanks. Haha good luck targeting only android users 😂 I'd rather give my money to Mint or Tello. Those two MVNOs, and many others, are probably breathing a huge sigh of relief!

    I hope no one buys an expensive phone from them on a 2 year instalmenin plan and regrets it when they cancel any spectrum service that waives the $20 line fee for non-customers.

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  9. I'm a Spectrum Internet subscriber. I tried to sign up for the service to get an idea what the price might be, and it actually looks like unlimited talk and text plus 100 mb are at no extra charge and that the $14 one might be charged is strictly per gigabyte; i.e., if you don't use any data, there is no extra charge, similar to Xfinity.

    Of course, having few phone choices and no BYOD is another issue...

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    Replies
    1. The By the Gig Plan's description says "Each By the Gig line is charged in advance for the first GB of data per bill cycle." If they charge the first $14 in advance, I don't see how you can avoid paying it. I can't find any mention of the first 100 MB being free either.

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    2. I can provide a screenshot if you want me to.

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    3. Screenshot:

      https://www.howardforums.com/showthread.php/1907856-Spectrum-Mobile-June-30-2018?p=17003721#post17003721

      Delete
  10. All of that is in the final checkout screen. It doesn't say it anywhere else.

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  11. Video will be limited to 480p and tethering at 600kbit

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    Replies
    1. As stated in the post, tethering is only throttled to 600 kbps after 5 GB and only on the unlimited plan.

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  12. No Iphones, No BYOP that's more like a failure to Launch. ...........

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  13. Since Spectrum Wireless runs on Verizon, you should be able to swap an active SIM into your iPhone or other phone that supports the Verizon network. This works on Xfinity Mobile. Once you get this working, you could sell the new LG phone at a loss. I can't find any information about whether it is locked to Spectrum, or whether they will unlock it if you pay full price if it is sold locked.

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  14. Replies
    1. No mobile hot spot with ST though.

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