There were reports that Comcast was interested in getting in the wireless business and the company has confirmed its intention to compete in this space today by announcing the launch of its new wireless service called Comcast Xfinity Mobile. The cable giant confirmed that the service runs on Verizon’s network.
Comcast does clarify that it’s not looking to compete with the entire mobile industry with Xfinity Mobile, with chief business development officer for Comcast Cable Sam Schwartz saying that “it’s really anchored around value-add for the Comcast customer.”
Xfinity Mobile is also going to rely on Comcast’s network of more than 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots. The service itself will be backed up by Verizon’s cellular network.
Schwartz does point out that Comcast’s hotspots will be prioritized as Xfinity Mobile will automatically connect the smartphone to Wi-Fi when it’s available. However, subscribers will have the option to turn off this feature in places where they feed that the cellular network will be more reliable and faster.
Xfinity Mobile will be supported on the iPhone initially aside from some smartphones from Samsung and LG. Subscribers can choose between two plans. Priced at $45 and $65 per month for up to five lives, the plans offer unlimited talk and text. There’s also going to be a pay-by-the-gig option which will cost users $12 per GB of cellular data across all lines on an account.
It will throttle speeds after 20 GB of usage at regular speeds. Comcast is going to limit the Xfinity Mobile rollout to customers within its footprint and will only be offered initially to subscribers with Xfinity broadband service.