[Updated] Xfinity Mobile will begin streaming in 480p and slowing hotspot speeds

Ruben Fields
July 5, 2018

The short version is that videos will be throttled to 480p (DVD quality) on all Comcast mobile plans unless you pay extra, while Comcast's "unlimited" plan will limit mobile hotspot speeds to 600kbps.

Xfinity Mobile, Comcast's wireless reseller that used to offer one of the best unlimited plans on the market, just sent an email to customers warning them about upcoming changes to the plan. Sign up today to get wireless news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

A Comcast Xfinity internet service van. As an MVNO, Comcast does not operate its own wireless network. Video chat could be one particularly notable area that could suffer from this sort of throttling-without a high-quality connection and video stream, video chat services can be frustrating to use. The new limitations have been placed on maximum video quality and hotspot speeds that customers can access when they're on cellular data.

As such, using Comcast's reasoning, the new quality cap could prevent customers from accidentally going over their data soft cap, preventing their speeds from being throttled. Alternatively, you can speak with your wallet and take your service to another carrier that does allow HD streaming over its mobile network. In the meantime, you can request it on an interim basis at no charge. The company's Xfinity Mobile customers will soon see their video streams being restricted to 480p. However, there's no telling how long this option will be active since the company also says it plans to charge consumers later this year for the ability to view HD video without Wi-Fi.

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If you're an Xfinity Mobile customer, what do you think about these changes?

Comcast says that these changes are being put in place to "help" users stay under their data limits.

The Comcast email also directs customers to an FAQ describing the video changes. Some rival plans are throttled, but others allow 4G speeds until a threshold amount is reached.

"If you have the Unlimited data option, your speeds on any device connected to a personal hotspot will not exceed 600kbps", Comcast told customers. Ironically, those paying "by the gig" will still get full 4G speeds, which doesn't seem to fall in line with the company's reasoning of "saving you money". By the Gig costs $12 for every whole gigabyte allocated. But with these changes, it's looking less like a steal, and more like the rest of the unlimited data plans on the market - not really unlimited.

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