Xfinity Mobile is making some significant data-related changes to its service.
Comcast is contacting Xfinity Mobile customers to say that it's tweaking video streaming over cellular and mobile hotspot usage. When it comes to video streaming, Xfinity Mobile customers will see 480p as the default resolution for streaming video over cellular. The company says that this is "consistent with standard unlimited plans across carriers" and that it will will help customers conserve data. It'll also help unlimited customers take longer to reach the 20GB data deprioritization threshold, says Comcast.
Customers that want to stream in HD will be able to get 720p video streaming over cellular for an additional fee starting later this year. Right now, subscribers can request it "on an interim basis at no charge." Comcast also points out that customers will be able to stream HD video over Wi-Fi.
As for mobile hotspot, Xfinity Mobile customers on an unlimited plan will have their mobile hotspot speeds cap out at 600Kbps. Again, the company says that this move will help unlimited plan customers take longer to reach their 20GB threshold. The By the Gig data plan will offer 4G speeds for all data usage.
When asked for confirmation of these changes, Xfinity Mobile gave us the following statement:
“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.”
These changes will begin rolling out in the coming week. Changes like these are never exciting, but as Comcast notes, the 480p default for video streaming is in line with unlimited plans offered by other major U.S. carriers. At least we've been made aware of these changes weeks before they begin rolling out so that Xfinity Mobile customers know that they're coming.