Xfinity Store

Xfinity Mobile’s Visa Card Promotions

Xfinity Mobile is running a handful of big promotions. Most notably, new subscribers that switch to Xfinity Mobile within the first 30 days of signing up for Xfinity Internet are eligible for a $300 prepaid card. The promotion stacks with a second offer allowing new subscribers to get a $100 Visa card for each line they transfer in after the first line on an account.

Given Xfinity Mobile’s generally solid prices, the prepaid cards should cover several months of service for a family of heavy data users. Light data users and large families get even sweeter deals. In the most extreme case, a family of ten could get $1,200 worth of Visa cards by transferring in ten lines. (Yes, Xfinity will allow that.) Since Xfinity doesn’t charge per-line fees on its plans with shared data, these promo cards could pay for multiple years of service.

The Fine Print

Only new Xfinity Internet customers that stay with Xfinity Mobile for at least 90 days and transfer phone numbers from other carriers are eligible. Card delivery will take about four months. The $300 card offer runs until September 7. The $100 card offer is available a month longer, until October 7. Here’s the legalese from Xfinity:

$300 Card Offer:

Limited to residential customers who are both a new Xfinity Internet and new Xfinity Mobile customer. Requires activation of new Xfinity Mobile line and transfer of phone number from another carrier within 30 days of Internet installation. Must maintain the new line with an account in good standing for 90 days following line activation. Visa Prepaid Cards are issued by MetaBank®, National Association, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. This card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Prepaid card mailed to Xfinity account holder within 16-18 weeks of activation of all required services and expires in 180 days. Limit one $300 prepaid card amount per customer/account.

$100 Card Offer:

Offer ends 10/7/2021. New Xfinity Mobile customers only. To receive $100 prepaid card per line, must transfer phone number from another carrier within 30 days of line activation for each new line after the first line, and maintain, line(s) with an account in good standing for 90 days following line(s) activation. Visa Prepaid Cards are issued by MetaBank®, National Association, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa® U.S.A. Inc. This card can be used anywhere Visa debit cards are accepted. Prepaid card mailed to Xfinity account holder within 16-18 weeks of activation of all required services and expires in 180 days. Limited one $100 prepaid card for second and additional lines up to a maximum $900 prepaid card amount per customer/account. Multiple cards may be issued based on total qualifying amount.

Other promotions

Xfinity Mobile is running two other promotions that partially overlap with the timelines for the Visa card offers:

  • Until August 30, new customers can get Motorola one 5G ace for free (normally $300).1
  • Until August 22, Xfinity Mobile’s offering $200 off any iPhone it sells.2
The word "update" in a graphic

Xfinity Mobile Updates Pricing

Today, Xfinity Mobile updated prices for accounts with multiple lines on the carrier’s unlimited plans. While Xfinity Mobile used to charge $45 per unlimited line, the cost per line now varies as additional unlimited lines are added to an account:1

Unlimited LinesOld PriceNew Price
1$45$45
2$90$80
3$135$100
4$180$120

Subscribers with family plans can still mix and match between Xfinity’s unlimited plans and the company’s by-the-gig plans (this is a hugely underrated perk for families). Pricing for by-the-gig plans remains unchanged.

Competitive Pressure

While Xfinity’s by-the-gig lines have always been priced extremely competitively, Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited plans have offered more of a mixed bag. $45 per month was a good price for a single-line, unlimited plan. Pricing was not as appealing for families that wanted several lines with unlimited data.

With Xfinity Mobile’s latest update, the carriers’ family plans with unlimited data are now usually cheaper than those offered by Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. As Joe Paonessa points out, several small carriers still sometimes offer lower rates on unlimited plans than Xfinity Mobile or the Big Three Networks.

Xfinity Store

Xfinity Mobile Updates: 5G, Pricing, and Prioritization

Today, Xfinity Mobile released a handful of changes.

5G Support

Xfinity Mobile now officially offers 5G powered by Verizon’s network. The carrier’s updated network webpage has a lot of content devoted to the wonders of 5G.

Pricing

The 1GB by-the-gig plan has increased from $12 per month to $15 per month. Data add-ons for by-the-gig customers have also increased in cost from $12 per GB to $15 per GB.

The 3GB by-the-gig plan for $30, the 10GB by-the-gig plan for $60, and the $45 per line unlimited plan are still available with unchanged prices.

Prioritization and video throttling

With the last generation of Xfinity Mobile plans, subscribers were typically subject to deprioritization during congestion. It looks like subscribers on the new by-the-gig plans will not be subject to deprioritization. Here’s a screenshot from my within my Xfinity online account:1

Screenshot suggesting Xfinity Mobile is offering better prioritization on by-the-gig plans

As far as I can tell, subscribers on Xfinity Mobile’s Unlimited plan will continue to be deprioritized during periods of congestion.

Optional opt-in

Existing subscribers are not being forced to switch over to Xfinity’s new plans. At the moment, it looks like subscribers who don’t switch over will continue to experience the old price structure while missing out on new perks like 5G access.

I’m unsure whether Xfinity Mobile will let subscribers stay grandfathered on the old plans indefinitely. It’s possible subscribers will eventually be forced to switch to new plans.

My take

As an Xfinity Mobile affiliate, I got a heads up that changes were coming. It sounded like there would be a price increase on the 1GB plan, and I figured I wouldn’t be able to recommend Xfinity Mobile as strongly after the changes. I’m happy to say my expectation was wrong. The $3 increase in the 1GB plan isn’t too substantial, and the improved prioritization for by-the-gig customers is great.

I’m frustrated by how actively Xfinity Mobile is marketing the new 5G service without making it clear that (a) Verizon’s 5G coverage is extremely limited and (b) few consumers have devices compatible with Verizon’s 5G. That said, Xfinity Mobile’s marketing is less misleading than what we’re typically seeing from carriers offering 5G. While the new 5G access won’t have a meaningful effect on most subscribers today, it will become more important as Verizon expands its 5G coverage.


Considering Xfinity Mobile? Check coverage at your location with the carrier’s coverage tool.

Xfinity Mobile Growing Quickly

An SEC filing Comcast published today showed that Xfinity Mobile has been adding subscribers quickly. In the last quarter, Xfinity Mobile added 261,000 new lines.1 Overall, Xfinity Mobile had a net increase of 816,000 lines in 2019, bringing its total subscriber count at the end of the year to slightly over two million lines.2 It’s now fair to say that Xfinity Mobile is one of the largest MVNOs in the U.S.

By my math, Xfinity Mobile’s subscriber base grew by about 66% in 2019.3 It will be interesting to see whether Comcast can keep that kind of growth rate going forward.

By one method of accounting, Xfinity Mobile looks unprofitable. However, the brand seems to be moving in the right direction towards profitability:4

Cable Communications results include a loss of $116 million from our wireless business, compared to a loss of $191 million in the prior period.
One could argue that way of looking at the financials leaves out something important. Subscribing to Xfinity Mobile makes it harder for a Comcast customer to cancel their internet service. Looking exclusively at the balance sheet of Comcast’s wireless segment leaves out the benefits Comcast receives as Xfinity Mobile reduces churn in the company’s other product segments.

At the moment, Xfinity Mobile presents a pretty good value proposition for current Xfinity Internet customers. Going forward, I’m not sure whether Comcast will keep Xfinity Mobile’s prices competitive to encourage growth or increase prices to make each subscriber more profitable.

Tutela’s October 2019 MVNO Report

In October, the network evaluator Tutela released its USA State of MVNOs report. Most network evaluators only assess the performance of the Big Four carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon), so it’s interesting to see Tutela assessing a wider range of carriers.

Near the beginning of the report, Tutela shares some reflections on how the MVNO landscape is changing:1

MVNOs and MNO flanker brands in the US carved out a niche largely serving the needs of lower-income customers or those with particular data needs…in 2019, the landscape is rapidly shifting. Technological advancements have made the barrier for operating some kind of network much lower; the entrance of cable companies into the market have pushed MVNO service into the more lucrative postpaid segment; and multi-network MVNOs are innovating on the network side of the equation, rather than solely differentiating on price or customer service.

Methodology

The approach Tutela used to evaluate MVNOs was in line with its usual methodology. The company crowdsourced performance data from typical consumers with the help of code embedded in Tutela’s partners’ apps. In the new report, Tutela primarily considers how well MVNOs performed in regions where at least three of the big four networks offer coverage. Tutela calls these core coverage areas.2

Within core coverage areas, Tutela calculates the amount of time subscribers have service that exceeds two different quality thresholds. When service exceeds the “excellent” threshold, subscribers should be able to do highly demanding things like streaming high-definition video or downloading large files quickly. When service exceeds the “core” threshold, subscribers should be able to carry out typical activities like browsing or streaming music without trouble, but performance issues may be encountered with demanding activities.

Results

Here’s Tutela’s visualization of the main results:3

Tutela results


A chart of median download speeds shows a similar ranking among carriers:

Tutela Download Speeds

The results aren’t too surprising. Verizon MVNOs come out near the top of the hierarchy, while Sprint MVNOs tend to come out near the bottom. Cricket Wireless has a good score for the core threshold but does poorly in terms of the excellent threshold. That outcome makes sense since Cricket throttles maximum speeds.

Possible selection bias

I often write about how assessments of network performance that use crowdsourced data may be vulnerable to selection bias. These results from Tutela are no exception. In particular, I wonder if the results are skewed based on how high-quality phones used with different carriers tend to be. In general, newer or more expensive phones have better network hardware than older or cheaper phones.

Xfinity Mobile takes the top spot in the rankings. Xfinity Mobile is a new-ish carrier and is restrictive about which phones are eligible for use with the service. I would guess the average phone used with Xfinity Mobile is a whole lot newer and more valuable than the average phone used with TracFone. Similar arguments could be made for why Spectrum or Google Fi may have an advantage.

To Tutela’s credit, the company acknowledges the possibility of selection bias in at least one case:4

The second factor explaining Google Fi’s performance compared to Metro or Boost is the device breakdown. Although a broad range of Android and iOS devices work with Google Fi’s service, the network is targeted most heavily at owners of Google’s own Pixel devices…The Pixel devices use top-of-the-line cellular modems, which intrinsically provide a better cellular experience than older or mid-range devices.

Wi-Fi results

Several MVNOs offer access to Wi-Fi hotspots in addition to cellular networks. I’ve been curious how much data carriers send over Wi-Fi, and Tutela’s results give an estimate. While Xfinity Mobile appears to have sent the largest share of its data via hotspots, it’s a smaller share than I expected:5

Tutela data suggests that Xfinity Mobile has already succeeded in offloading over 6% of smartphone data traffic onto its Wi-Fi network – far more than any other network.

Tutela also shares a graph comparing hotspot usage among different carriers:6

Graph of wi-fi usage share among multiple carriers

Other stuff

There were a few other bits of the report that I found especially interesting. In one section, the report’s authors reflect on the fast growth of MVNOs run by cable companies:7

Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile captured nearly 50% of the postpaid subscriber growth in Q2 2019, and combined added nearly as many postpaid subscribers as host network Verizon.

In another part of the report, Tutela shares a map displaying the most common host network that Google Fi subscribers access. It looks like there are a decent number of areas where Sprint or U.S. Cellular provide the primary host network:8

Xfinity Mobile’s Pricing vs. The Competition

5/17/2020 update: Xfinity’s 1GB plan that was $12 per month at the time this post was written is now $15 per month.

One of my recent posts about Xfinity Mobile received a comment on Reddit that got me thinking:

While Xfinity does have decent options (especially if you don’t need too much data) – it isn’t necessarily very different from other MVNO’s.

Let’s dive into that. It’s not always possible to make apples-to-apples comparisons among carriers since each carrier has its own way of structuring plans. Still, I’ll try my best to compare Xfinity Mobile’s prices to the best deals available from Verizon and other carriers that use Verizon’s network.

Low data use

Both the commenter and I think Xfinity Mobile may be a good option for people who don’t use a lot of data. For a base price of $12 per line, Xfinity Mobile offers a 5-line plan with unlimited minutes, unlimited texts, and 10GB of shared data. In comparison, a postpaid Verizon plan with 8GB of shared data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited talk would have a base price of $34 per line. It’s harder to make a close comparison with Verizon’s prepaid plans. 5 lines with 1GB of data each, unlimited talk, and unlimited text would have a base price of $30 per line. For 6GB of data on each line, the cost would be $32 per line.

If we look at individual plans rather than family plans, Xfinity Mobile still looks like a winner, but the competition is tighter. 2GB of data, unlimited talk, and unlimited text has a base price of only $24 per month with Xfinity. Verizon prepaid charges a base price of $30 for a plan with only 1GB. Verizon postpaid is a whole lot more expensive for a comparable plan. However, some Verizon MVNOs have similar prices. BOOM! offers 2GB of data, unlimited talk, and unlimited texts for under $30 per month. Total Wireless offers 5GB of data for a base price of about $33. Red Pocket offers 3GB of data for about $30.

Heavy data use

For heavy data use, Xfinity Mobile subscribers will probably want to turn to the carrier’s unlimited plans. These plans have a base price of $45 per line each month. At this point, Xfinity Mobile is no longer a clear winner, especially on family plans. With 5 lines on Verizon’s postpaid Start Unlimited plan, there is a base price of $30 per month. However, a single start unlimited line has a base price of $70, still a much higher rate than Xfinity charges. Visible, a flanker brand run by Verizon, offers unlimited plans for only $40 per month. Verizon MVNO Total Wireless has excellent prices on high-data allotment family plans. For example, 4 lines with 100GB of shared data come with a base price of about $24 per line.

Takeaway

Xfinity Mobile has extremely competitive prices for those who want service over Verizon’s network, don’t use a lot of data, and don’t mind being more tightly tied to other Xfinity services. For those who use moderate or large amounts of data (especially on family plans) Xfinity Mobile faces plenty of competition.

Xfinity Mobile’s BYOD Program – Phone List

Xfinity Mobile has a bring your own device (BYOD) program, but only a limited set of phones are eligible. You can check a specific device’s eligibility with Xfinity’s compatibility tool.

BYOD-eligible Apple iPhone devices

The iPhone 6 and more recent Apple devices are likely to be BYOD-eligible if they’re unlocked. However, iPhone models sold in some regions of the world or by certain carriers may be ineligible. I strongly suggest double checking iPhone compatibility with Xfinity’s online tool.

BYOD-eligible Android devices

Only a handful of Android phones are officially compatible with Xfinity Mobile.

  • Most Google Pixel devices
  • Samsung Galaxy S8
  • Samsung Galaxy S8+
  • Samsung Galaxy S9
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+
  • Samsung Galaxy S10
  • Samsung Galaxy S10+
  • Samsung Galaxy S10e
  • Samsung Galaxy Note8
  • Samsung Galaxy Note9

Most models of these devices will be compatible with Xfinity Mobile if they’re unlocked and were sold in the United States, but there are a few exceptions. You can confirm compatibility on Xfinity’s website.

Possibly compatible Android phones

I expect most Samsung S20+ and S20 Ultra devices are eligible for Xfinity Mobile’s BYOD program. Here’s an excerpt from a support agent’s post on an Xfinity forum:

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and S20 Ultra 5G open-market devices purchased unlocked directly from Samsung.com, or from major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart and Costco, will be supported for BYOD beginning on March 6, 2020.

Samsung Galaxy S20+ 5G and Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G devices brought over from other carriers, like AT&T or T-Mobile, will not be available for BYOD until approximately three to six months after the March 6, 2020 launch.

I’m suspicious that Xfinity Mobile may have also added support for the Galaxy S20 5G UW and the Galaxy Note20 line, but I have not confirmed.

History & future of the Android BYOD program

Official details about devices Xfinity Mobile permits are shared in the carrier’s FAQ. Xfinity Mobile has expressed an intention to expand the number of devices on its Android BYOD list in the future:1

Right now, not all Android devices are compatible with Xfinity Mobile, but we’re working behind the scenes on making this possible in the near future.

I hope Xfinity Mobile aggressively opens up its Android BYOD program soon, but I’m not sure it will happen. Progress has been slow so far. Here’s an excerpt from a complaint posted by a Reddit user in early 2019:

[Xfinity Mobile] promised that it [Android BYOD] was coming over and over and here we are over a year later and still nothing… We did finally get iPhone byop but not a peep about android. I feel a little lied to.

Xfinity finally started to offer limited Android BYOD support in July 2019. Since the beginning of the BYOD program, Xfinity has expanded its initial list of supported devices to include the S10, S10+, S10e, Pixels, and some phones in the S20 line.2

Apple Watches

Xfinity Mobile allows customers to bring their own cellular-connected Apple Watches to the service as long as the watches have the latest version of watchOS. Xfinity Mobile is one of only eight U.S. carriers that supports cellular-connected Apple Watches.


Page last updated on 6/2/2021

Accountant calculating

Xfinity Mobile’s Pricing Strategy

Comcast’s cellular brand, Xfinity Mobile, appears awfully well priced. Somehow, Xfinity Mobile offers service over Verizon’s extensive network without the usual price tag. You can check Xfinity Mobile’s coverage at your location with the carrier’s coverage tool.

Unlimited minutes and texts are included for free in all of Xfinity Mobile’s plans. Subscribers just pay for data, and rates for data are reasonable. For $45 per month, a subscriber can get unlimited data. Alternatively, subscribers can purchase a set amount of data and share it among up to five lines:

  • 1GB data – $12 per month
  • 3GB data – $30 per month
  • 10GB data – $60 per month

A family could get five lines of service with 10GB of shared data, unlimited minutes, and unlimited texts for a base price of only $12 per line.1 Purchasing a comparable family plan from Verizon would be far more expensive. Even other mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that run over Verizon’s network charge far more for similar plans. Why is Xfinity Mobile so cheap?

(Added 5/17/2020: In the time since this post was published, Xfinity Mobile changed the 1GB option from $12 to $15 per month.)

Lock-in with other Xfinity services

Only customers with active Xfinity internet service are eligible to sign up for Xfinity Mobile. Some people who would have used internet service providers other than Xfinity may now choose Xfinity internet so that they can sign up for Xfinity Mobile. Similarly, potential fees incentivize Xfinity Mobile customers not to cancel other Xfinity services:2

$20 per line monthly charge applies if at least one of the following post-pay subscriptions are not maintained on the account: Xfinity TV, Internet or Voice service.

Competitors threaten Comcast. Like Comcast, Verizon’s Fios offers bundled TV, internet, and home phone service. Emerging technologies like 5G fixed wireless may create viable alternatives to conventional cable companies. By bundling several services together, Xfinity may make it more difficult for consumers to switch to competitors’ services.

Favorable MVNO terms

Xfinity Mobile is relatively new, but it already has a huge number of subscribers.3 While the agreements between MVNOs like Xfinity Mobile and host operators like Verizon are generally private, my impression is that MVNOs with large subscriber bases often receive substantially better rates than MVNOs with small subscriber bases. Xfinity Mobile may, in part, be able to offer low prices because it gets unusually good rates on access to Verizon’s network.

Future prices

While Xfinity Mobile’s service is well-priced today, it’s not guaranteed to stay that way forever. We’ve already seen one revamp in Xfinity Mobile’s price structure.

Other explanations

I haven’t seen Comcast executives explicitly explain their rationale for launching a mobile service, so all I can do is speculate. If you have other thoughts about Xfinity Mobile’s pricing strategy, please leave a comment!