Xfinity Mobile: What is it and is it worth it?

Below is a list of the best How to get a new sim card xfinity voted by users and compiled by us, invite you to learn together

Video How to get a new sim card xfinity

Xfinity Mobile (opens in new tab) is Comcast’s mobile provider, which sits alongside your existing internet and TV services. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense for a lot of people, especially when you look at the value it offers.

It turns out plenty of people are willing to take Comcast up on that offer. Xfinity Mobile launched in 2017 and has since grown to 2.8 million subscribers by the end of last year.

That rapid growth didn’t happen because Comcast started erecting its own cellular towers. Rather, Xfinity Mobile is a mobile virtual network operator (or MVNO), which piggybacks on the existing network of one or more of the major carriers. In Comcast’s case, that’s Verizon’s network — including 5G coverage — coupled with the internet provider’s own Wi-Fi hotspots.

For wireless customers, getting service from an MVNO can sometimes mean a better deal than what you’d get from a major carrier while still enjoying the same great coverage (though your speed may be “deprioritized” — that means “slowed down” — if there’s a lot of traffic on the network). Our look at what MVNOs are goes into greater detail on the pros and cons of getting your service from a virtual operator like Xfinity.

With Xfinity Mobile, it’s all about the bundling, as it is with Comcast’s other services. In fact, you aren’t even eligible for Xfinity Mobile if you don’t already do business with Comcast, or are willing to make the company your internet service provider. Meet that criteria, and Xfinity Mobile service could be yours, with unlimited talk, text and data only costing you $45 each month.

Should you turn to Comcast for your cellular service? Here’s a closer look at the rest of the details to see if Xfinity Mobile is right for you.

Xfinity Mobile: How it works

Xfinity Mobile is available exclusively to Comcast subscribers. The wireless service relies on Verizon’s network (the clear winner in our fastest wireless networks testing), along with access to Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide.

If you subscribe, you can pick between an unlimited data plan and paying only for the data you use. Unlimited nationwide talk and text are included regardless of your data choice. Xfinity Mobile users pay no access fees for up to five lines. Some carriers charge subscribers as much as $20 per line in access fees on top of their regular monthly data plan rate, though for unlimited plans, those access fees are often baked into the monthly rate.

Comcast TV subscribers will be able to use the Xfinity Stream TV App on their smartphone to stream live TV, on-demand content and shows stored on a cloud-DVR, no matter where they are; it will count against your data allotment, though, if you don’t have an unlimited plan with the carrier. More on that in a moment.

(Image credit: Xfinity Mobile combines Verizon’s LTE network with Comcast’s Wi-Fi hotspots. (Credit: Comcast))

For the most part, Xfinity Mobile works just like any other wireless carrier. The two most notable differences are you must maintain a Comcast subscription and your connection will automatically transfer over to a Comcast Wi-Fi hotspot when one is in range. There’s a pretty good chance one will be — Comcast told us a while ago that it has 19 million hotspots around the country and there are probably more now. Using Wi-Fi instead of a cell tower should typically represent a boost in speed, and if you aren’t on the unlimited data plan, it will help save you data charges. Several other low-cost carriers, such as Republic Wireless and TextNow, use this Wi-Fi/cellular approach.

Xfinity Mobile: How much it costs

Xfinity Mobile’s prices vary from $15 a month up to $60 a month, depending on the options you choose. Be aware that these do not include taxes and fees, which will vary from state to state.

The bare minimum $15 plan gets you 1GB of data along with unlimited talk and text. If you go beyond 1GB, you are charged an additional $15 per GB. Comcast unfortunately rounds up, so 2.1GB or 2.9GB of data usage would both be treated as 3GB, and cost you $45. This is different from something like Google Fi, which refunds you for the data that you don’t use.

Xfinity modified By the Gig for new customers that share the same bucket of data across multiple lines. Under the new system, you choose the amount of data you want to use upfront, with reduced costs for the more data you use. For example, whereas 1GB normally costs $15, 3GB costs $30 and 10GB is just $60.

By the Gig plans include video streaming at HD resolution and LTE hotspot speeds. A Data Saver feature lowers video resolution to 480p and slows down hotspot speeds to 600 kbps, all in the name of preventing you from going over your data limit and racking up a higher monthly bill than you counted on.

(Image credit: Comcast)

Xfinity Mobile’s unlimited plan costs $45 a month for a single line of data. And unlimited plans just became more attractive to families, as Xfinity now offers discounts as you add more lines to your service.

Two lines of unlimited data cost you $80 a month (or $40 per line). With four lines of data, you’re paying $120 each month, which breaks down to $30 for each line.

Like other carriers, Xfinity will slow your speeds if you go over a set amount of data — 20GB during a month in this case. That’s lower than the major carriers’ thresholds. Verizon’s Play More and Do More Plans will only slow data speeds if you use more than 50GB each month, though those plans also cost $35 more than what Xfinity Mobile charges.

Unlimited plans restrict video resolution to 480p when streaming over cellular. Hotspot speeds are similarly capped at 600 kbps. If you want HD video at all times, you can pay an extra $20 per month.

Subscribers have the option of moving between the “By the Gig” plan and unlimited plan at any time without penalty, so if you just have the occasional heavy-data-usage month you could make the switch when necessary.

Should you opt for Xfinity Mobile, be sure to enable two-factor authentication for your account and get a PIN linked to your account, as some customers have reported that their mobile numbers have been hijacked.

Xfinity Mobile offers attractively priced plans compared to the best unlimited data plans from the major carriers. Your cheapest unlimited plan option at T-Mobile costs $60 per month for the carrier’s stripped down Essentials plan. AT&T customers pay $65 a month for Unlimited Starter. So you’re saving $15 to $20 just by using Xfinity Mobile and its unlimited data plan.

Some rival MVNOs charge less for unlimited data — at Visible, which also uses Verizon’s network, you’ll only pay $40 a month for unlimited data with taxes and fees included. Mint Mobile goes even cheaper at $30 a month, though to get that rate, you’ve got to commit to a year of service.

Xfinity Mobile’s pricing advantage used to dry up as you added more lines, since the best family cell phone plans discount per-line pricing the more lines you have. But Xfinity’s change of heart on multiple line discounts changes things up. These days, the $120 you’d pay for four lines of unlimited data at Xfinity matches the amount T-Mobile normally charges for four lines of its Essentials unlimited plan. (A current promotion at T-Mobile waives the cost of the third line, so you’re actually paying just $105 per month total.) It’s worth noting that Xfinity says that you can mix and match different lines, so that some members of your family can get unlimited data while lower-data users can pay by the gigabyte. That approach can lower your monthly bill.

Even with the new discounts on multiline unlimited plans, you can still find carriers with more attractive options. Visible, for example, cuts the per-line cost of its unlimited plan to $25 per line when you add four or more lines to a plan.

Xfinity Mobile’s per-gigabyte pricing is more generous than some of its fellow MVNOs, but it’s not the lowest price you can find. At Tello, for example, you’ll now pay $19 a month for 4GB of LTE data, $11 less than what Xfinity now charges for 3GB of data. Google Fi charges $10 for each gigabyte of LTE data on top of $20 for talk and text, but instead of rounding up once you pass a certain gigabyte mark, you’re charged $1 for every 100MB. (Using 2.1GB would cost $21, for example, as opposed to $30 at Xfinity.) And, of course, neither of those services require you to get your cable or internet from Comcast.

Xfinity Mobile: What about 5G?

The Verizon 5G network launched in 2019, so it was only a matter of time before MVNOs like Xfinity Mobile were able to use the faster 5G service. Xfinity Mobile 5G service went live in May 2020, and the good news is, you don’t have to pay extra for the faster service. It’s included with regularly priced Xfinity Mobile plans.

That means Xfinity customers who pay $45 a month for unlimited data are getting access to 5G for around half the cost of what Verizon customers pay. Verizon includes 5G with its Play More and Do More unlimited plans, which start at $80 for a single line; the $90-a-month Get More plan also includes 5G.

There are some caveats to Xfinity Mobile’s 5G service. First, you’ll need a 5G-ready phone, but those are more readily available at different price points. Grab yourself a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or iPhone 13 Pro Max, or save some money with Google Pixel 6 or Samsung Galaxy A42.

Verizon 5G now reaches coast to coast, covering 2,700 cities and towns, though those speeds aren’t much faster than LTE. To get high-speed mmWave, you’ll need to be in one of the cities where Verizon has installed the high-speed service.

Xfinity Mobile: No contract required

You can cancel your Xfinity Mobile plan within 30 days of your next billing cycle date and you are only responsible for charges for the current month on your account and any remaining device payments you might have. In the first 30 days, you can cancel and return your device for a full refund, minus a $35 restocking fee. Beyond 30 days, you would be responsible for the restocking fee and any outstanding charges on the device.

Xfinity Mobile: What devices are supported?

Device selection had been the biggest downside to Xfinity Mobile, which largely sells top flagships. However, in recent years Xfinity has broadened its selection of Android devices, and now allows users to bring some of those handsets to the network as well.

iPhone users will notice an up-to-date selection. You can opt for any of the new iPhones — the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max. You can also save money by buying the iPhone 11 or iPhone SE (2022).

Either the iPhone 12 Pro Max or iPhone 12 Pro can be had at Xfinity Mobile. (Image credit: Future)

As for Android devices, both the Galaxy S21 (and you can probably expect to see the Galaxy S22 when that phone arrives) and Note 20 models are available at Xfinity. The new Pixel 6 Pro and Pixel 6, Galaxy Z Flip 3 and Galaxy Z Fold 3, and Galaxy A series are on offer, giving you plenty of options for any budget. You’ll even find a pair of handsets available for less than $200 — the Moto G Power and Moto G Play.

Device-payment options and flat pricing both compare well to other carriers, so while the need to purchase a new device is inconvenient, you at least have solid options at reasonable prices.

If you prefer to bring your own phone, Xfinity lets iPhone users bring their own device, provided it’s an iPhone 6 or newer. The company is now making an effort to include Android users too, though BYOD service is currently limited to select Samsung and Pixel models.

If you’ve got a supported phone, you send away for a free SIM card from Xfinity, and then sign in once you’ve received it to activate your account.

Xfinity Mobile also sells tablets (all iPad models) and smartwatches (all Apple Watches) in addition to other mobile accessories like cases and charging pads. You’ll pay $10 per line per month for an Xfinity Mobile plan covering those devices.

Xfinity Mobile: Canceling your service

According to Comcast, if you transfer your number to another carrier, your Xfinity Mobile service will be automatically canceled. If you’re on the By the Gig plan, you will only be charged for the data you used between the start of your billing cycle and the day you cancel your service. Unlimited users’ total at cancellation will be pro-rated based on where they are in their billing cycle.

If you’re making payments on a device, you are responsible for any outstanding payments. However, if you keep at least one other Xfinity service (e.g. internet), you can continue to make payments if you don’t want to pay the remaining balance up front.

Xfinity Mobile’s competition

There are a lot of MVNOs out there, but Mint Mobile, Google Fi, and Visible come to mind as the Xfinity Mobile’s chief competitors. Xfinity Mobile has the benefit of being one of the better options for Comcast customers (who wish to tie themselves further to the broadband provider). Its pricing structure is pretty fair and remarkably similar to other important Verizon-based MVNO, Visible.

Visible’s claim to fame is the $40 unlimited plan. The MVNO has that plan exclusively, so it’s extremely enticing for people who want one of the most affordable unlimited cell phone plans. It’s also got the added benefit of running on Verizon’s network.

Mint Mobile is one of the best values out there. You buy your data allotment up front in 3-month, 6-month or one-year chunks. The MVNO runs on T-Mobile and has 4GB, 10GB, 15GB, and unlimited options. The latter is the most interesting with what comes out to $30/month for three months ($90 up front). Some people might balk at buying their data up front, but it does result in long-term savings.

Finally, there’s Google Fi. This MVNO costs $20 for unlimited talk and text and then $10/GB after (with $60/month for unlimited and $70/month for unlimited plus). One of Fi’s best features is the refunds for data you don’t use. Say you only use 500MB in a month. You’ll only pay $5 for it since Google won’t charge you for the remainder, unlike Xfinity Mobile. Fi isn’t the best value around, though, especially when it comes to unlimited.

Is Xfinity Mobile worth it?

It depends on your situation, but for some customers, Comcast’s mobile service seems like a solid value, especially for single users who want unlimited data. The included 5G is just the cherry on top. Families should also give Xfinity Mobile a look now that there are discounts on multiple lines.

Users that can get by on just 1 or 2 GB of data per month would also likely do well on Xfinity Mobile. But as noted above, the more data you use at Xfinity Mobile, the less attractive the service becomes when compared to the best prepaid phone plans.

Xfinity Mobile is more appealing now that you can bring your own phone to the service, though Android users will need to have very specific Samsung or Google phones to take advantage of that feature. You can check if your current phone will be compatible using the Comcast’s checker tool (opens in new tab).

You can use Xfinity Mobile when traveling to other countries, though you’ll be charged for talk, text and data (rates vary by country). In other words, there are better international data plans.

Related Posts