Comcast/Xfinity announced their upcoming mobile service offering for the first time today. With three, (yes, three) different options for consumers, Xfinity has really done quite the job of making life interesting for just about everyone involved. First off, if you do not want to be an Xfinity Internet Subscriber, stop reading, because that’s where the service beings. With the standard monthly rates ranging from $24.95 for the basic 6MB/sec plan (only available in select markets) to $149.95 for the Extreme 250 plan, you will need an Xfinity High Speed Internet connection to begin this process. If you have one one those already or want to sign up for one, keep on reading, this is about to get really good.
If you are signed up for just internet, you have three plans available. The first is an unlimited talk, text and 100MB of shared data plan for free – yes, free. You can have up to 5 lines on this free plan. You can then branch out, by the line or as a group to the pay by the GB plan, which will cost a flat $12 per GB used. Keep in mind, WiFi usage does not count against this total, so you can still use those Xfinity hotspots all over town without using cellular data. Finally, if you need that unlimited data plan, you can snag it for $65 a month per line. Not a bad deal for unlimited LTE data on the Verizon network. Users of the Xfinity X1 Entertainment System are even luckier as they will receive a $20 a month discount on each line off the unlimited rate, bringing the cost down to just $45.
The 4 line monthly plan would cost nothing for line access fees, and $180 with the X1 system ($260 with internet only.) With Double Pay service starting at $99.99 for 140 channels and 200Mbps internet service, it would be rather crazy not to sign up for that instead of the $59.95 Performance 25 plan and the $260 phone plan. Still, at a sub $300 price point for a monster TV package, home internet and unlimited cellular data as well, even the MVNO’s are a bit scared of this deal. For example, the best double play deal we have found for home internet and TV pinned the service at $55 a month after taxes, and a 6GB Verizon Plan ends up running about $120 a month after taxes. That pins TV, Internet and Cellular (6GB) at $175 a month. The unlimited Xfinity option to this would be $110 for the X1 package plus $90 for two lines of unlimited phone service, or about $25 more. Keep in mind, that upgrades your cellular data from 6 Shared GB to Unlimited on both lines for just $25 more.
The biggest part that the tech world has ignored today is the fact that you are allowed up to 5 lines on this account without having to pay an access fee. That means you get 5 lines of unlimited talk and text with 100MB of shared data for free each month with your service. For example, Mom and Dad might use the $12 per GB plan on their lines where as lines without data for the kids or for Grandpa and Grandma can be free with the service. In a setup like this, a full monthly bill for 5 lines, using 2GB of data would be well under $100, including the cable internet portion of the billing.
Now, to wait for the details on if the calls are routed over the wireless network or if they will be a VoIP setup like FreedomPop or some sort of hybrid calling similar to Republic Wireless. It should be interesting to see what the service actually includes and how users can start using it right away. Currently, only the Apple iPhone SE, 6s, 6s+, 7 and 7+ are listed as compatible on their website, but other locations make reference to newer Samsung and LG devices as well. If this passes down to the Moto G5 Plus, we see a real opportunity to save some serious cash going forward if you are already an Xfinity subscriber.
More details on this plan will be made available as soon as they announce the final offering.