This week, Comcast released “new” unlimited pricing for its Xfinity Mobile wireless service.
They provide two- and three-line subscribers a rate discount, but not single- or four-line consumers, and continue to enforce fine-print constraints.
The company’s press release for the service it runs on Verizon’s network highlights the best-case savings against the cheapest unlimited-data subscriptions sold at the big three carriers: two lines at Xfinity Mobile now cost $60 a month versus $80 on T-Base Mobile’s Essentials, $110 on Verizon’s new Welcome Unlimited, and $120 on AT&T’s Unlimited Starter.
Xfinity Mobile’s old rates charged $80 per month for two lines. Three-line subscribers pay $90 under the old rates, not $100. Single-line customers pay $45 and four-line customers pay $120.
The largest fine-print restriction, hidden on Xfinity’s compare-plans website and broadband-disclosures page, hasn’t changed: After 20GB, speeds drop to 1.5Mbps downloads and 600kbps uploads. Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited tariff limits mobile-hotspot to 600kbps.
Comcast’s comparisons of T-Mobile and Verizon include fine-print traps. Base Essentials slows to 1.5Mbps after 20GB and limits mobile-hotspot use to 600kbps, which T-Mobile misrepresents as “3G”; Welcome Unlimited doesn’t enable mobile hotspot use.
Comcast’s new price gives users $30 per line on their first four lines; reflecting a previous pricing system that required mobile customers to buy four lines to obtain $30 per line.
Xfinity Mobile’s previous unlimited plans were $80 for two lines ($40 per line), $100 for three ($33.33 per line); and $120 for four ($30 per line). Comcast’s earlier unlimited, multi-line plan decreased the price to $20 per extra line after the first four, up to 10 lines based on customer credit.
Comcast introduced its earlier unlimited rates in April 2021 as a result of its amended MVNO contract with Verizon, therefore, which allowed for more flexible packaging options and business mobile sales. Moreover, Charter Communications, a Verizon MVNO, launched family-friendly offerings in 2021.
Altice USA, which has a new MVNO partnership with T-Mobile, has also modified Optimum Mobile prices, including a $30 unlimited package.
Comcast says their new unlimited pricing mix beats AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. Comcast’s pricing comparison:
Comcast is expanding its mobile base with limitless multi-line packages. Comcast added 317,000 mobile lines in Q2 2022, totaling 4.61 million.
Cable companies are gaining ground in mobile after years of stagnation. Comcast, Charter, and Altice USA added 694,000 mobile customers in the second quarter. That’s a 26.2% increase over the 550,000 net adds in Q2 2021.
The value of cable can be eroded by device subsidies and ancillary services, New Street analysts wrote. Cable bundles mobile and fixed offer attractive value to homeowners. The bundle is pricier than T- Mobile’s, but it includes a better broadband product.
T-Home Mobile’s Internet FWA service competes with cable operators on their turf. The “un-carrier” just unveiled Home Internet Lite, a $50/month subscription with 100GB of bandwidth. T-Mobile can’t offer everyone unlimited data, but it can offer a limited package.