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July 02, 2018
Confirmed: Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile to slow video streams, hotspot connection speed

Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile announced it will begin throttling all of its users’ video streams to 480p resolution and its unlimited customers’ personal hotspot speeds to 600 Kbps. The operator added that, later this year, it will allow customers to pay extra to stream video at 720p resolution.

“We’re making two changes to our service to help us maintain the low price point of Xfinity Mobile,” the carrier explained in a statement to FierceWireless. “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.”

We are seeing this more and more frequently, and you can’t blame the operator. Simply put history is repeating itself. Many years ago when 3G was launched the industry touted the delivery of sporting content to the mobile; and in reality if there were a mere handful of users getting video off the same tower the network would blow up. In a 4G and LTE world the user count is arguably 10x that same handful. Cellular networks are simply not built to deliver the volume of traffic they are currently handling and operators are having to throttle to ensure that everyone has a reasonable and efficient experience (good old fashioned economics at work here – Law of the Commons).

Operators are going to have to raise prices to recoup their investment; and to re-invest in their network by providing greater capacity and offload to ensure a reasonably fast experience. 3G Hotspotting is clearly sub-optimal; and not going to cut the mustard for business usage.

We anticipate that with 5G operators around the world will use the new infrastructure to completely reprice current plans. When 5G becomes commercially available expect a 300% increase in price relative to the current equivalent 4G/LTE bundle.

Confirmed: Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile to slow video streams, hotspot connection speed