Comcast is rolling out its new wireless mobile program in Fresno and across California to help customers save money while tapping into the way many people use their phones these days – to stream movies and music and to stay connected on their favorite apps.
Xfinity Mobile uses Verizon’s cellular network and connects seamlessly to Comcast’s 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots nationwide to keep the cost of data use low. That means you don’t have to punch in passwords or hit any “I Accept” buttons to connect each time. Visit xfinity.com/mobile/plan to find a map of hotspots near you.
The cost: $45 a month per phone for unlimited service, or $12 per gigabyte of data. Each account can have as many as five phone lines.
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But there’s a catch. You have to be a Comcast internet subscriber, and you have to buy a new phone through a Comcast store. Customers won’t be able to bring along a phone from an existing cell service, at least not yet. Comcast has two stores in Fresno and one in Visalia.
“We’re excited to bring our customers a new choice for wireless service that will save them money in today’s increasingly data-driven world,” said John Gauder, regional vice president for Comcast California.
The service includes unlimited calls and text and 100 megabytes of shared data for all phones on the account. After that, you choose a plan for each phone line based on data use. You can switch from the by-the-gig plan to unlimited during your billing cycle with no penalties if your data use unexpectedly spikes one month.
The average smartphone owner uses 2 to 3 gigabytes of data each month, according to a March 2016 survey conducted by the NPD Group, a market research company.
Comcast announced that it would join the competitive cell phone market earlier this year in a move to retain customers by providing another service alongside its internet plans. The program also comes at a time when many consumers are canceling cable subscriptions for mobile streaming services.
Fresno Xfinity Mobile event
7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 26. Acoustic performance from 7:30 to 8 p.m.
35 E. Via la Plata, Fresno at the River Park shopping center
Unlimited plans by carrier
Cost for first line
Based on advertised price for cheapest unlimited plan as of Oct. 18