Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile Will Begin Throttling Video Streams and Hotspot Speeds

The company says the new restrictions will help maintain the service’s low price point.

Xfinity Mobile.

In a statement sent to XFinity Mobile subscribers this week, Comcast announced that it will making changes to the mobile service in the coming weeks by introducing new restrictions on video resolution and personal hotspot speeds.

The company says it will begin throttling all video streams to 480p resolution, which will become the default resolution for streaming video through cellular data. The change will not impact customers connected to WiFi who will still be able to stream in HD.

Later in the year, Comcast plans to introduce an option that allows customers to pay extra to stream video at 720p resolution. And before the company releases the 720p option, existing customers can call in to continue receiving 720p quality at no charge on a temporary basis, a spokesperson told Philly Mag.

Next, for customers subscribed to Xfinity Mobile’s $45 unlimited data option, the company will cap personal hotspot speeds to 600 Kpbs.

In a statement to Philly Mag, the company said it’s making the changes to the service to “maintain the low price point of Xfinity Mobile.” And in the statement to customers, Comcast said the new video resolution restriction will “help them conserve data.” It can also help them “save money” if they “pay By the Gig and take longer to reach the 20 GB threshold” if they’re on the unlimited data option.

The company also wants users to note that the 480p resolution for streaming video over cellular data is consistent with standard unlimited plans across carriers.

Another reason for the changes are likely Comcast’s ongoing effort to reduce the amount of money that it has to pay Verizon for the use of Verizon’s LTE network, as FierceWireless points out.

As a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Comcast doesn’t operate its own wireless network.

“It’s Xfinity Mobile services essentially piggyback on top of Verizon’s network, and Comcast handles other elements of the service itself, such as phone sales and billing,” FierceWireless wrote.