Have you seen the new ads from Comcast promoting their Xfinity Mobile service?
If you have, you probably think it sounds like a pretty good deal.
Well, that “deal” is about to get a lot worse.
Comcast has just confirmed to the folks at CNET that they’re going to start limiting Xfinity hotspots to 3G speeds AND limiting the resolution of streaming video to their Xfinity Mobile customers to 480p.
Yes, you read that right. Xfinity Mobile customers are going to lose the awesome 4G speeds they’re used to getting with their Hotspots (and yes, this will even apply to customers with “Unlimited” plans).
What’s more, their (decent) 720p video resolution is going drop like a rock to 480p.
As you can see, those are very drastic reductions in service.
To be fair, you can avoid those reductions in service if you agree to pay an extra fee each month.
Here’s the actual text of Comcast’s message to CNET:
“We’re making two changes to our service to help us maintain the low price point of Xfinity Mobile. First, we’re establishing 480p as the default resolution for streaming video over cellular data on Xfinity Mobile, which is consistent with standard unlimited plans across carriers. It’s important to note that this change won’t impact video resolution when using Wi-Fi, where customers will continue to be able to stream in HD. Second, we’re setting personal hotspotting at 3G speeds for all Unlimited customers, which will allow customers to continue to do many of the things they enjoy doing online. Our By the Gig data option will continue to deliver 4G speeds for all data traffic.”
I was seriously considering making the switch from my current cellular provider to Xfinity Mobile based on the promises they are making in their ads, but no more. I’ll be keeping the plan I have.
In my humble opinion, this is bad news for all concerned – including Comcast. They had a chance to gobble up a significant amount of mobile market share with Xfinity Mobile but these changes are sure to nip that right in the bud.
Regular readers of this blog know I use (and love) Xfinity’s Internet service, but I’m certainly glad I saw this announcement before signing up for Xfinity Mobile.
Bottom line: This is a perfect example of why it pays to keep up with what’s going on with the companies you do business with. Changes in a great service can slip through without you noticing them and end up turning a great deal into a poor one virtually overnight.
Bonus tip #1: If you decide to drop your Xfinity hotspot I recommend that you check out the Jetpack hotspots from Verizon.
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