The launch of new iPhones, iPhone 8 and 8+ specifically, is a reminder of how the mobile industry, as mature as it is, continues to have new entrants. Comcast is trying to carve out a mobile play, and will open their stores early on September 22nd for an Xfinity mobile iPhone launch.
Xfinity mobile customers can activate new iPhones on Comcast’s hybrid WiFi MVNO network beginning on that date. Comcast is not being too aggressive with any Xfinity Mobile iPhone promotion though, only offering a trade in campaign for ‘qualifying’ devices. They will pay cash for those trade-in devices, and promise a check will be delivered within 30 days.
Xfinity Mobile uses a WiFi first network for mobile connectivity, with a MVNO model using Verizon’s 4G LTE network when customers are out of range of WiFi. Comcast claims 18 million WiFi hotspots are available to its mobile subscribers. They offer simplified plans, allowing subscribers to share a data plan across devices for $12 per GB, or for $45 for unlimited for each device. Subscribers also have to be Xfinity home Internet subscribers.
“Combining wireless service with Comcast’s other Xfinity experiences creates a simpler solution for internet and entertainment inside and out of the home,” Comcast explains in a press release. “By auto-connecting to the customer’s home Wi-Fi, the service takes the friction out of connecting to Wi-Fi. Plus, when using Xfinity Mobile, customers are already signed into their other Xfinity apps – whether it’s watching up to 200 live TV channels and 40,000 On Demand movies and shows with the Xfinity Stream app, or controlling your home devices from the road with the Xfinity Home app.”
Charter will soon be joining Comcast as a cable MSO in the mobile arena, with a similar hybrid WiFi strategy.