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April 06, 2017

Comcast to launch new wireless service, available only to existing customers

Connectivity Telecommunications
040617_xfinity_mobile Comcast/Handout photo

Comcast's Xfinity Mobile.

Tired of bugging your family and friends for Wi-Fi passwords so you don't use up your wireless data? Comcast is looking to give you another option.

On Thursday, the Philadelphia-based telecommunications juggernaut announced its latest offering: Xfinity Mobile, a wireless service for cell phone users. The company plans to roll out the product later this year.

The service, only available to existing customers, will automatically connect devices to Comcast’s 16 million Wi-Fi hotspots. While on the move, users wouldn't need to worry about securing Wi-Fi passwords or using their cell phone carrier's networks. According to the NPD Group, a market research company, approximately 80 percent of smartphone data is used over Wi-Fi.

"Mobility is more important than ever to consumers, so we’ve designed Xfinity Mobile the way mobile should be – a simple solution for internet and entertainment in and out of the home," said Greg Butz, president of Comcast Mobile.

The basic features are available only with an internet subscription. They include service for up to five lines, no access fees, 100 megabytes of data, and unlimited talk and text.

Comcast plans to offer flexible payment options to customers, but prices for unlimited data will vary depending on their service bundles. Customers who subscribe to Comcast's top-tier cable packages can access Xfinity Mobile for $45 per line while the remaining customers will be charged $65 per line.

The company will also offer a pay-per-gigabyte option at $12 per line. Users can also choose whether each line has unlimited or pay-per-gigabyte service. However, there are no penalties for switching plans, the company says, so customers can determine how much data they used and choose the cheaper option.

Those who sign up for the service won't be able to keep their current phone. Customers will be able to choose devices from Apple, Samsung and LG.