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Comcast, 'the worst company in America', just launched cellular service

Xfinity Mobile
Xfinity Mobile (Image credit: Comcast)

Comcast, the enormous cable, internet and content creation behemoth, just launched cellular service despite owning no actual wireless spectrum.

The company, which owns NBCUniversal along with its massive Comcast Cable division, will offer 4G LTE service under the Xfinity Mobile brand, in partnership with Verizon, which powers the actual cellular part of the proposition. The other part is automatic access to Comcast's 16 million wireless hotspots peppered around the country, which will be open to all Xfinity Wireless customers through a simple authentication process that uses the other Xfinity apps and services to verify a customer's identity.

But Xfinity Wireless will not be available to everyone; it's a bundle-only deal for existing Xfinity cable or internet customers (pdf), and will differ in price per line depending on how much one already spends with the company.

"Xfinity Mobile benefits customers by bundling wireless service with Comcast's other Xfinity experiences. With Xfinity Mobile, customers only pay for the gigabytes they use, with the flexibility to easily switch back-and-forth between data options using the Xfinity Mobile app at no cost."

The idea is pretty straightforward: existing Xfinity customers can sign up for unlimited wireless service for $65 per line, up to five lines. Top-tier Xfinity X1 customers, though, get the service for $45 per line, but at this point it's not clear what that minimum spend is. But despite being called unlimited, wireless service is throttled after 20GB per line, which is lower than Verizon's own unlimited throttling policy.

The other way to get service is by the gigabyte: each line can spend $12 per gigabyte, which works out to be cheaper if the user stays under 5GB per month. Users can go back and forth between the two options, so if it appears that one line is going to spend more than $65 per month in a la carte data, it can switch to the unlimited option with no penalties.

The offering is, technology-wise, very similar to Google's Project Fi in that Xfinity Mobile is acting as an MVNO, facilitating a mix of wireless and easily-accessible Wi-Fi hotspots around the U.S. The major difference, though, is that Comcast is generally disliked by most of its customers (it was voted "the worst company in America" three years ago), and plans to bundle its bevy of entertainment options with each phone:

When using Xfinity Mobile, you're already signed into your other Xfinity apps – whether it's watching up to 200 live TV channels and 40K On Demand movies and shows with the Xfinity Stream app, or controlling your home devices from the road with the Xfinity Home app.

Comcast says that customers will be able to manage all of their mobile services, including adding and removing lines, buying more data or switching plans, or cancelling service, through the Xfinity Mobile app.

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And while the company is entirely a wireless MVNO right now, working exclusively with Verizon, it has bid in the now-closed 600MHz wireless auction, so it's possible it could launch 4G LTE service of its own in the near future, at least in some parts of the country.

When it launches in the coming months (no word on a specific launch date yet) it will offer a range of phones, including the latest devices from Samsung, LG and Apple, according to a press release. It's unclear at this point, due to the tie-ins with Xfinity services, whether you'll ever be able to bring your own phone.

Are you into this at all? If you're an Xfinity customer, are the prices preferable to your current plan, unlimited or not? Let us know in the comments!

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

121 Comments
  • I guess they had to jump on the bandwagon at some point. I supposed the mobile apps for services were just foundation for the pending delivery platform. Too bad it's Comcast/Xfinity. I just ditched them last week for UVerse - which are the only two options where I live. Their prices are ridiculous, especially if you aren't in some form of 12-24 month agreement.
  • Too bad Uverse is going away. Soon to be phased out to DirecTV.
  • Proof? If anything, I'd think DirecTV would be phased out to UVerse
  • It is a pretty common thing. AT&T didn't buy DirecTV to then just phase it out.   http://www.fiercetelecom.com/telecom/at-t-phasing-out-u-verse-video-broa...
  • You can put a satellite dish 99.9% of America but uverse is based off their dsl service. That's not going out in rural areas.
  • AT&T is phasing out the U-Verse Brand. Internet is going to be "AT&T Internet" (already is when I look at it) and the phone service is "AT&T Digital Phone." Our street is not on their fiber network yet.
  • yes att uverse is going away. i work around directv reps and this is what they tell customers.
  • Too easy...
  • So it's just Verizon...
  • The wireless coverage (minus the hotspots) part of it is. The pricing and customer service and the rest is xfinity.
  • Verizon cell service and Comcast's horrendous insulting customer service.
  • Whatever Daniel. Corporate bashing is getting old.
  • If you've never been forced to use Comcast and it's overpriced garbage service then you don't know hell.
  • It's over priced yes, but X1 is definitely not garbage. Nothing comes close to X1.
  • Nothing comes close to X1?!... Midcontinent's Xsream absolutely does... For the last 5 years I've had 100Mbs service through them for $65 a month. Their service has been exceptional... latency is always less 40ms and I can count on one hand the number of times been without service in the last 5 years. And in the next few months their upgrading my service to their gig service. Their customer support has been great... They are a local company so their customer service is also local. Although it's a shame Midcontinent only offers service in the Midwest.
  • Well it is a shame. X1 interface blows everything I've seen out of the water. Their internet speeds are 100m with 200m bursts. In NJ, nothing comes close to X1. But too expensive
  • In NJ nothing comes close!? BAHAHA laughable. I was forced into Comcast and X1 when I moved back to NJ, and had to call Comcast regarding one issue or another 15 times in one year. After that, I moved just two towns away into a building with FiOS and have called Verizon once in two years...that was to cancel some promotional channels after the promotion ended. Everyone I talk to in NJ, NY, and PA despises Comcast and some even cancelled their cable bundles and use logins of friends and family on FiOS to watch TV...you must be the lucky one when it comes to Comcast.
  • Right. Fios is by far the worst interface in all TV services. Nothing beats X1. Hence why they charge so much.
  • TiVo destroys X1.
  • Your absolutely right when you say Comcast is the worst cable provider. I live in NY and the 1 year that had them I had to constantly call them to fix my monthly bill. I also had to call them numerous times because of the various issues I had with their cable & internet service. I switched to FIOS 3 years ago & haven't had a single issue with my monthly bill or their cable or internet service. Daniel is right Comcast is the worst company in America!
  • I hate Comcast but I am on their Blast internet for $40 a month and currently not in a data cap market. 200 Mbps top speed.
  • havent had cable in 5 years. internet only.
  • My child support payment is pretty close... For the arm and leg they charge for internet and TV, I could have another car note.
  • No one is forcing you.
  • You're forced to if you want high speed internet in some areas. Like where I live
  • For me it's Exede (overpriced satellite internet garbage which was Wildblue before Comcast expanded out here) or Comcast (overpriced cable). I think I'd rather have Comcast.... Plus X1 is really nice...
  • I get want you are saying, just don't like the word "forced". If someone can correct me if I am wrong, local governments are the ones making deals with providers deciding who is in and who is out. I have three in my area not including satellite. There could be more if things were opened up.
  • I'm not entirely sure. In my town, Comcast covers all of it, but Verizon Fios covers some of it, so only some portions of the town have a choice. My alternative choice is Verizon DSL, which isn't a comparable choice. When I check the Fios site, it asks to enter my address and if they have enough interest, they'll bring Fios to my area.. So I'm assuming that's a generic survey or whatever.
  • Thank the FCC.
  • So you were forced by Comcast what did they hold a gun to your head and said use our service. Because that's the only way they can force you to use their service
  • BS
  • In different areas the experience is different. In my area Comcast is great! The Internet is fast, customer service is amazing, and I've never had an outage. But where my parents live, they don't even offer ondemand.
  • Comcast is horrible, they throttled my Internet connection than told me Xbox live was unplayable because my Xbox wasn't powerful enough to play the games.....dropped them and refuse to live in a location where they provide cable/Internet.
  • I only have Comcast in my area and when I signed up for them I wanted 25 down. They told me I wouldn't even be able to check my email with that speed.
  • I have nothing personally against Comcast, nor do I live in America so I don't have any experience with the company. It's a fact that the company was rated 'the worst company in America'.
  • That is fine, but you had to go with that headline. Why not just say Comcast just launched cell service. I'm sure I know why and it worked. To be fair you didn't say anything negative in the article.
  • Why care so much? I have AT&T Fiber .. works amazing .. Others hate on AT&T for being AT&T but that doesn't change my service at home so ... Why would I care? AT&T doesn't pay me to defend them lol.
  • I'm just here for the down votes.
  • Okay .. I guess that answers my question but .. oh well :P
  • Off topic but equally important. Any chance of allowing photos and GIF's into comments like disqus commenting systems have? Sometimes a picture is worth 1,000 words ... yanno?
  • Pointing out the fact that they were voted the worst company in America isn't corporate bashing, it's reporting a fact.
  • I only have what I absolutely need from them, and that is internet (only because they are the ONLY provider in my area). Comcast/Xfinity is one of the worst companies in America. A bunch of vultures.
  • Not a US resident....Y its so disliked company...any major reason ??
  • All large corporations are disliked in America. It's the new "in thing" created by millennials.
  • Daniel isn't a Millennial. Whatcha got next?
  • Didn't say he was. Still stand by my comment. Just because you didn't like it doesn't make it not true.
  • Heh. No sweat off my nose, not like it's the first time you've stood by an objectively false statement.
  • I don't know the hate from the younger generation is very extreme towards corporations my husband is a professor at a University in Southern Mississippi. Now did I take a survey and asked each one on campus from 1 to 10 rank how much you hate corporations no. But it's there when I pick up my husband or when I stay around and listen to some of his lectures and then listen to some of the students they really really hate big corporations. And not to mention some of the professors but that's a different story for another day. But of course it's always been that way because when I went to College going to date myself in the 80's the level of vitriol and distain towards Corporation was never like how it is now.
  • People are wising up.
  • USM?
  • I am, like, so a Millennial.
  • Lol!! nicely done
  • Actually it was based on a recently published ranking done by customer satisfaction surveys. Comcast ranked the worst. The Cloud DVR service hasn't worked since December, prices have rose twice just this year and customer service ranks at the bottom of the list among competitors.
  • Millennials? Lol.. Dude, you're obviously too young to remember that it's always been the case.
  • No sir, I am old enough. The hate has been taken to another level with this generation.
  • But it's not "millennials" only. It's a multi generation of hate because they are much bigger before. And more of them. Many don't understand these companies are making that 401k go up..
  • My 401k is looking nice.
  • Yup, mine too.
  • I'm 37 and I have always hated them and their far out pricing. I don't see what's wrong with not wanting to be ripped off. You must work for Comcast.
  • Nope. I do use any of their services or work for them. You could insert any large corporation into this thread and my comments wouldn't change. Corporations hire thousands of people directly or indirectly throughout the supply chain which contribute to the over all economy in the long run. This is how I see things.
  • I fail to see the comparison on corporate hate when we are talking about an ISP, that is essentially a monopoly on broadband in many areas. I think the argument here is lack of fair pricing, competition, and bad service.
  • Blame your local governments. https://www.wired.com/2013/07/we-need-to-stop-focusing-on-just-cable-com...
  • He's just a conservative who looks for every opportunity to get on his knees to blow big corporations. It goes with the ideology.
  • Because of their ATROCIOUS customer service. They are constantly messing up billing, are constantly raising prices nickel and dime here and there, and where I live they are the only real option. I would likely pay double what I pay now for a different provider if the quality was good just to get rid of Comcast.
  • Really bad customer service & billing problems. But the service is excellent. In NJ at least.
  • My biggest problem is that they constantly increase your prices without​ any warning. I had a customer support rep tell me to make sure to call back every year to ask for a deal and keep my bill from going up.
  • It's promos expiring. This has been the case for almost 20 years.. You are responsible to stay on top of your promos.
  • +1
  • He didn't say anything about promos. Learn to read.
  • They have a very poor reputation for performance and for customer service.
  • Customer service is awful.
  • Like any other company, the experience varies from state to state and city to city. The loudest people are always the ones who are complaining. On the other hand, in my area I have 4 options and comcast/xfinity is hands down the best option.
  • In case anyone was wondering why Project Fi doesn't have Verizon support, this piping hot garbage would be the reason.
  • Any elaboration on that? I've been wondering about that for awhile.
  • So the worst partners up with the second worst...
  • Please expand on why you think Verizon is the second worst...
  • Totally the second worst... LOL.. I mean VZW's customer support has gone out of their way to help me every damn time... Recently had numerous problems with my LG V20, they overnighted me a replacement THREE TIMES. Who does that?... The Worst!!.. My daughter has a "Gizmo Gadget" tracker/phone watch, and when I emailed an idea for a feature, they responded and then responded again to say they added the feature to the companion app. Like WTLF.... On the other side of Verizon.. FiOS has been hell to me.. Awesome totally invisible install 8 years ago.. Free modem upgrades, twice. They even overnighted me a big return box to UPS back my boxes when I moved out of state this past year, when I told them I was too busy to go to the store/office. Then, they mailed me a check for the unused rest of the month... Totally makes them the worst.. I agree.
  • Might be a boon to some folks who could really make use of a caller ID notification on their TV screens, i suppose. But if I was going to throw more $ @ Comcast it'd be for better broadband speeds, which, of course, they also package with a lot of crap I don't want to pay for.
  • My horrendous Comcast experience made me jump on the bandwagon of advocating internet access be considered a public utility and managed as such.
  • Well, it is essentially a utility at this point. I don't advocate for government regulation but when the FCC picks and chooses who gets broadband spectrum for wireless communication and makes it nearly impossible for any other ISP to competitively exist, something needs to be done. And now they are all merging, so it encompasses TV and internet.
  • Whatever happened to the Ma Bell law??? For me, it's Comcrap or nothing because they're the only internet game in town so I've been pursuing other options for TV service and seriously considering a 1byone antenna and just ditching the cable portion completely.
  • Nothing against Comcast services, but their pricing is out of hand. I really need AT&T today offer home internet in my area. Then I can bundle all my AT&T services (cellular, Direct TV Now, and home internet).
  • Pretty much expected. The terms of Verizon buying xlte from Comcast and other cable cos allowed them to be an mvno. Back in 2015 , Comcast informed Verizon that it was exercising that option. This is just an execution of that agreement.
  • Their customer service sucks.
  • That's weird. I've had nothing but pleasant experiences when I have to talk to them,which is hardly ever because the service works so well in my area.
  • Two conflicting anecdotal opinions. If only they had some sort of of objective way to measure overall sentiment towards a business, that might be illuminating. Oh well. I guess we'll never know.
  • You're right. A poll about people's opinions is not objective by design.
    But clever nonetheless
  • Fantastic headline.
  • For something that was voted three years ago.
  • Well, I had Directv and ATT DSL and Home phone, and Switched to Uverse.
    I had Uverse and switched to Comcast.
    I switched my wireless from Sprint to Verizon Billing always seems to creep up as you add TV's and faster speeds. My 2 year Comcast Deal is expiring in July 2017. I have the X1 Triple Play. Guess what? I have been get solicitations for the Four Play (Alarm Monitoring) for LESS than what I am already paying. Sure i realize the quoted price does not include the 2 extra cable boxes or the modem rental. But, I was going to buy my own modem anyway (should have months ago). Point being, everyone wants fast service, at a low price. Shop around for what works for "you". I am considering dropping the phone service (add oooma) and drop the cable package and use Netflix and Hulu to save money. But, I'm sticking with Verizon.
  • Well I love Comcast, it's a service that I want and not need, and I choose to pay for it. They have always done right by me.
  • That's crazy talk.
  • You've never called them for anything I'm guessing.. Especially billing related.
  • I actually don't think Comcast's prices are that bad. 3 TV's, 2 with just basic cable and my main 1 has the X1 box and digital preferred plus high speed internet for $135 a month
  • No one around here is going to be happy until the federal government regulates and caps prices around 50 bucks.
  • I have Charter and pay a flat $39.99 a month with no taxes and get speeds of 200mbps down and 7mbps up.
  • Nice price. I was also including cable television service.
  • We had Comcast TV/Phone/Internet until we moved in May. I had different services there so it's hard to do a 1-1 comparison on price overall I think it may have been cheaper. I never really had problems with customer service though. X1 Cable TV was much better than Brighthouse that we have now. Much easier to find what you want to watch, easier remote, better interface all around. if I was in a Comcast service area, I think I would definitely go for this. I'm on Cricket now and paying $100 for 3 lines (2@3Gb, 1@5GB) but we don't usually use all that. We are usually under 2GB for each line. That would save money plus being on Verizon towers would be a plus over ATT towers. The only downside I see is that sometimes it's harder to get unlocked phones working on Verizon.
  • I am paying them $45 for 25mbps net and its been working fine for past 10 years. Last year my rate was discounted at $20-25 bucks. Youtube + HD Antenna and I am all set with my media needs
  • That's because no one should be paying more than a dollar per megabit now. I'm paying more but that's my belief.
  • I receive 10 pieces of advertisement mail from them weekly - and I took myself off the mailing list months ago
  • For those who wonder why they're hated so much, it's simply this. When their service works, you're fine, but, if it doesn't work, getting it fixed is nearly impossible. Customer service is awful--no one can seem to get anything resolved. I had the misfortune of getting them back in 2010, and the service was so bad that it was unusable. The installer told me my drop needed to be replaced, but he said it wouldn't be easy to get done, since they only had a few bucket trucks in town. I spent two months calling and getting appointments scheduled, only to have them all disappear from their computer system without a trace. Oh, the ones where a tech was scheduled to come out were honored, and all the techs said a truck roll was required, but those appointments simply vanished. When U-verse was turned on in my neighborhood, I switched, and then, a few days later, I happened to speak with the lady who sold us the house, and she told me that she and her mother had tried to get that drop replaced for two YEARS, with no results. Now, unfortunately, I'm stuck with them again, since they're the only viable option in our new neighborhood, but they seem to work OK there, probably because all utilities are underground. But, if AT&T gets GigaPower deployed, as they promise to do this year, I'm done with them.
  • I've actually had a very pleasant experience with Comcast/Xfinity. I've been using their Internet for years and years. Also I love the fact that they have hotspots everywhere. I currently have my phone set to connect automatically when I'm near one. I absolutely love it. In some cities I can actually get better hotspot coverage than Cellar coverage. It's kinda nice as a backup. We'll have to see how this deal pans out, but it might be worth a closer look once the service has been rolled out to customers.
  • I already have service from both companies, if I went with this I would save a bit. The thing is though, I already hate the customer service from each of them. It feels like them partnering on this would open up a black hole of horribleness.
  • Two competitors joining together, may mean disaster, yes you're right!
  • That's the company I want to have my cell phone plan with, not!
    I will never use their cable service ever again I can't believe anyone does.
    Unless of course they have no choice.
    They have the worse customer service by far.
  • Thankfully I live in a area that has so many comcast hotspots , that I can go at least 3/4 of a mile, before I lose wifi. I have the advantage/disadvantage of not traveling too far, so I keep my phone on wifi all the time. Comcast has come a long way( except some of their apps for the phone). I can see this useful, but Comcast billing practices worry me, they change on you, and they get things mixed up. Verizon's no better, same outcome, especially when your deals' up, they went up, almost a hundred dollars, when my deal expired. They leave their line, that comes into the house, before the modem, after you cancel them, and try to charge you for that. I heard this intermittent beeping for 6 months, in my basement, couldn't find out what it was( wasn't my smoke detectors, or fuse box ) . I found out it was Verizon's stuff doing that, unplugged it, and Verizon's nagging went away.
  • Frontier FiOS Internet 100mbps down & up and 400 channels of TV: $130/month TiVo Service: $10/month Telling Comcast to go F themselves: Priceless --Gen X hater of greedy, exploitative and anti-consumer corporations
  • Will broadband subscribers have their modems preprogrammed (or unknowingly commanded via remote) to allow guest access via an open "xfinitywifi" SSID? Do you all see this as a "Comcast Fi" Where service is wifi (albeit on the backs of paying subscribers) and switches to Verizon towers when necessary?
  • You don't have all the facts about hotspots. There are wifi taps installed in a lot of major city areas. Not riding on the backs of paying subscribers. It's the same idea as when the wifi is open at major sporting events such as the Super Bowl.
  • I sorry, but that "Worst Company in America" moniker is already taken - by Century Link. Actually, they're the anti-Christ of companies.
  • I'm surprised they're not using their "should be illegal since it's not opt-in" public hotspots they're claiming are everywhere using other people's bandwidth.
  • Much as I hear all the hate I wouldn't mind Comcast if they came to my area. I can only get MAX 100/10 and the 10 up only happened 2 months ago, before that it was 5. And that $125 a month!!!! I have no other choice besides DSL which maxes out at 10.
  • "The worst company in America" according to whom? And are you taking about North, South or Central "America"?
    The worst service for cable in the USA is Frontier.
    Don't like Comcast? Change.
  • Hey yah I can always switch to...um....er....oh yah there IS no other viable alternative in my market. Try again.
  • Hmm, the devil I know (AT&T) or the evil Satan spawn from Hell (Comcast)? Easy. Go F yourself Comcast.
  • I have Comcast Xfinity because they are the only cable tv option in my area its horrible service is extremely expensive & continues to go up in price & adding ridiculous hidden fees seems like the longer your a Comcast customer the more expencive the service costs & the quality & Customer Service just keeps getting worse they been raping customers in my Area for years. I'm currently looking into cutting the cable tv cord once & for all & going with a streaming service which is what alot of people are doing getting more & more popular the hell with Comcast they are the Devil.
  • I understand customers unhappy with the prices maybe but have not had problems with Comcast. Ive used Comcast for broadband and tv for many years. I do tech support for my extended family who mostly use Comcast for ISP and TV. I've needed to call tech support a couple of times and got the help I needed.
  • 240mbps down 20 up, home security service and all channels $169.00 per month after taxes $185. Comcast is not that bad. You don't get this kind of service/prices, with any other company in my area.
  • Comcast is that bad. I'm not giving them another dime. They have fast internet and the worst customer service in the business. And they nickle and dime everything. (Just try getting rid of your boxes, that you pay for forever long after they're paid for and obsolete)
  • NNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!