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Xfinity Mobile Follows Standard 480p Video Quality and 600Kbps Hotspot Throttling

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Xfinity Mobile customers are in for some disappointment. Earlier this week, the Comcast MVNO announced that it will be imposing limitations on hotspot speeds and maximum video quality its users get when using cellular data.

According to the announcement, video quality for streaming under cellular data will now be restricted to 480p. Customers who wish to continue streaming video at 720p resolution will have to pay extra. This option, however, has not yet been announced and will not be available until later this year. For now, customers can still stream video content at 720p resolution over cellular for free. All they have to do is request for an upgrade.

The personal hotspot speed for Unlimited plan customers is throttled to 600 Kbps. By the Gig plan hotspot usage is not throttled. It's important to note that data costs $12 per GB on the Gig plan. At that price, it's only fair that speeds are faster. For the consumer, however, this can easily lead to a hefty bill at the end of the month.

Comcast sent out an email to its customers yesterday explaining how the new changes are meant to help users "conserve data." In their email, the company stated that customers will be able to "save money if you pay By the Gig and take longer to reach the 20GB threshold if you have the Unlimited data option."

Despite the frustration over Comcast's announcement, it puts itself on the same video quality limitations as other wireless service providers have imposed. The good news is that the new video and hotspot limits are not applicable when you connect to a public Xfinity hotspot. And with millions of Comcast routers that serve as one, you'll be sure to find one nearby.

*Xfinity Mobile runs under Verizon's network.



Source: Fierce Wireless


26 comments:

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  1. Eh, Big Red showing it's clout.

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    1. Is this Verizon's doing? The hotspot and video throttling makes no sense at it was always a 20 gig high speed plan to begin with.

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    2. Throttling video and hotspot makes perfect sense if you are running an MVNO. Comcast pays Verizon for your data by the GB. I don't know how much but one site claims it's $5 a GB. I think that's high but even if it's only $2.50 Comcast loses money on every unlimited user who uses all 20 GB. Even with customers who use much less the 20 GB, the more data unlimited plan users consume the less Comcast makes. The easiest way to cut data use is to throttle the uses that consume the nost data, video (70% of internet traffic is video) and tethering.

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  2. And so it begins, the throttling and gouging of poor suckers.

    They just can't help themselves.

    RIP cable mobile

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    1. When all the VZW MVNOs are adopting this policy I don't see how it will kill off "cable mobile"

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    2. It is in their nature, it was only a matter of time. So much for cable mobile being any real competition for the big four.

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    3. Iy a good choice for some, though a much smaller niche after these changes. However, I won't use them because of bad memories of very frustrating difficulties that I experienced with their cable service (Charter for my area).

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    4. Xfinity changes only affect users who want to stream or beam video to a big screen using cellular data, or hotspot cellular data at high speed. I don't think the policies will reduce Xfinity growth much at all; maybe a small blip at most.
      Xfinity still offers the best pricing for unlimited and no one beats them below 3GB on Verizon. That's mainstream, not niche.
      At 3GB or above but below $45/mo. you could use Boom, Red Pocket (hot spot?) or an Am Movil brand (hot spot?) to save a few $/month, but you give up Xfinity hotspots, postpaid roaming, and other benefits. Not a good tradeoff for Xfinity customers unless you just can't manage your data usage.

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    5. Xfinity is an even better deal for families who don't need or want Unlimited service. 3GB would cost them at least $35/month on Boom for 3GB/line with hotspot. With Xfinity, families can share 6 GB for two at $72/month, or 9GB for three at $108/month. Since the data is shared, they won't pay more if one user needs a little more than 3GB/month high-speed data and other(s) use less. Since less mobile data is 'wasted' each month, they might only need to pay for 5GB ($60) or 8GB ($96) most months for two or three lines. A family of 4 might pay $132/month or less to share 11GB, vs. $140/month on Boom.
      The family also gets full-speed hotspot, off-Verizon roaming and use of hundreds of thousands of Xfinity hotspots to further reduce mobile data costs.

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  3. Why do people continue to pay premium price for their device to be 1080P or 4K if you cant even stream that due to the limit the carriers are putting.

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    1. Yep

      One born every minute

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    2. I don't think most buyers choose a flagship to watch 4K videos on it. Flagships typically have fewer compromises in design including better cameras and all around screen quality (brightness for outdoor usage, wider viewing angles).

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  4. This PPPN post implies but should have make it clear that the Xfinity hotspot data speed will not be reduced for By the Gig customers. Some readers may have missed that.

    "Our By the Gig data option will continue to deliver 4G speeds for all data traffic.”

    This was stated by Xfinity in reference to hotspot use, not video streaming.

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  5. I've modified the post to explicitly say that hotspot data is not throttled on the By the Gig plan.

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  6. Comcast should have chosen T Mobile as their network provider. That way they could have offered a real unlimited data plan with 50GB before being deprioritized instead of throttled at only 20GB. It won't be long before 20GB won't be enough for customers willing to pay $45 for an unlimited plan. The by the gig plan only makes sense for customers who are always on wifi or don't use data at all. Neither is a large fraction of mobile users today. Comcast could have made Xfinity Mobile a competitive option in the marketplace. Instead, they gave us a fake unlimited plan at the same price point as real unlimited plans and a plan with $12/GB overage charges with no option to restrict data usage or any caps on data charges to prevent outrageous bills. It's like the mobile industry back in the 90s.

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    1. Get out of the 90s - Xfinity ain't your father's WiFi. Every Xfinity WiFi router has a second WiFi channel that is shared with all nearby Xfinity Mobile users. Xfinity Mobile phones connect automatically when within range of these routers, saving mobile data.
      Also, you forget that Comcast competes with FIOS. Like millions of other lucky people, we can use either broadband service at home. It was brilliant for Comcast to pick Verizon for their MVNO. When I dump FIOS for Comcast next month, Comcast wins and so do we. And in a year or two when my bargain double play expires, Comcast will have a $20/month competitive advantage over FIOS because of our two Xfinity Wireless lines. Verizon is left with only $5/GB/mo. for the 1 or 2GB we use. Brilliant!

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    2. First thing I & everyone I know does is turn off the Wi-Fi in the Comcast provided modem/router (many buy their own modem, modem only, no integrated router/WiFi), hook up our own Wi-Fi router that WE control and lock it down tight. Sorry Comcast, I'm not shrinking/slowing my bandwidth/service I pay for so that you can advertise "free" hotspots that customers pay for. Only places w/cable hotspot are some businesses and 80 year olds houses whos grandkids didn't help them out.

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    3. Last sentence above is not believable, of course.

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    4. Of course it is believeable. Maybe not your experience but true nonetheless.

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    5. I can see two xfinitywifi hotspots from my house and none of my neighbors are over 80. Therefore the statement "Only places w/cable hotspot are some businesses and 80 year olds houses whos grandkids didn't help them out." is false.

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    6. I live on a street of 28 single family homes, all are password protected WiFi networks with no hotspots. Walk the dog here and in the area, no hotspots. Aunt lives in a complex of over 300 condo units on a small bay/stream, a lot of people over 80, there are maybe 5 Comcast routers that still have hotspot enabled.

      So you see, maybe "only places w/cable hotspot" for you is false, for me it is true. "only places with cable hotspot around here" might have been a more accurate statement.

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    7. "Only places w/cable hotspot are some businesses and 80 year olds houses whos (sic) grandkids didn't help them out."
      This is still not true, of course. I just checked and there is a neighbor's Xfinity hotspot available for use in my single-family subdivision. None of my neighbors within range are "80-year olds."

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    8. "Comcast should have chosen T Mobile as their network provider. That way they could have offered a real unlimited data plan with 50GB before being deprioritized instead of throttled at only 20GB."

      Even now, T-Mobile still has poor coverage, the reason people overwhelmingly reject it in favor of AT&T and Verizon. This would have been a hard sell for Comcast.

      The Comcast Verizon deal may be quirky, but at least it gives bars of service where people need to use their phones. There's only one other carrier you can say this about... and it ain't T-Mobile.

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  7. Xfinity falling in line with other MVNOs is certainly not excuseable. I can see them changing for new customers but old customers should have been grandfathered to the terms they signed up for. Whatever happened to a company wanting to be a better choice instead of just falling in line with every other MVNO? Why give something and then take it away?

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  8. Walked into our Xfinity store, and ordered a year of broadband for $39.99/month (150Mbps speed). Switched two iPhones from the free Sprint Unlimited Bring Your Phone plan to Xfinity Mobile. I paid $3.98 and left in one hour with both iPhones working on Verizon network. They also matched the online promo of free installation, saving me $59.99.
    We will save $35/month on our home service, avoid paying $40/month for two wireless plans and they will send us $300 to spend on a prepaid credit card. Total saved: $1,200 minus $144 for 1GB/month we will probably use over one year, and $90 for a fast DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem. Very satisfied!

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  9. Just got throttled on my plan for the month after I tethered for the first time in more than a year of service. Instead of just throttling me for the time WHILE I was using the tether, it seems that Xfinity Mobile has tethered me for the rest of the month, even while using data only via my phone. Total data use for the month is 5.1GB. Historically I have used between 1-12 GB per month on the Unlimited Plan. So I am not a heavy data user. According to my phone, I used 405Mb of tether data. This corresponds with the usage I had for those few hours, checking my car insurance and downloading the insurance cards, plus a little tethered browsing.

    I fully expected to be throttled to 600k while browsing. Was not expecting to be penalized for the month for a few hours of tethered browsing.

    Canceling my line at the end of this cycle. Supposedly my complaint via chat was escalated and they will be calling me back in the next day. But I'm doubtful that I will hear anything. Now to figure out the porting-out process and what my pin might be for this line. Phone is paid off and hopefully is unlocked. We were quite happy for a year until this snaffu. Plus the two unsuccessful trips to Xfinity store trying to port over new lines last month. At least I only have one line to cancel...

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