Comcast unveils cellphone service

Email to a Friend

Comcast wants to increase the membership of the Big Four.

The cable-TV giant unveiled its long-awaited wireless service in a push to enter a market that’s dominated by four companies: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless. Comcast’s cellphone service will be called Xfinity Mobile.

Although Comcast hasn’t said when it will be available—reports indicate later in 2017—the company says what it will be and what it will cost. The service will use Verizon’s cellular network, according to reports, but the main thrust will be Comcast’s 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots. Xfinity Mobile will connect your smartphone or tablet computer automatically to its Wi-Fi network whenever it’s available.

According to reports, Xfinity Mobile will be offered only to customers of Comcast’s home internet service and consumers who live where Comcast does business. Comcast says the service will have two pricing plans—unlimited and as you go. Unlimited will cost $65 per line for up to five lines, or $45 per line if the customer is an X1 service subscriber. Unlimited data will be throttled back in speed when you reach 20GB, Comcast says. Otherwise, Comcast will charge $12 per gigabyte that’s used across all lines. Customers will be able to switch plans anytime at no cost.

Comcast says it will offer only a few smartphones—all current Apple phones, which include the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, and “the best devices” from LG and Samsung.

To see how Comcast’s new service compares with those of the Big Four, please see our report, “Comparing Cellphone-Service Providers: Secrets They Don’t Want you to Know.”