Cable company Charter is following in the footsteps of Comcast in introducing an MVNO service called Spectrum Mobile. Spectrum will rely on Verizon’s LTE network and a nationwide smattering of more than 18 million Wi-Fi hotspots operated by both Comcast and Charter per an agreement signed last year. But it turns out that there are more similarities between Spectrum Mobile and Xfinity Mobile.

The service was announced last week for current Spectrum home internet subscribers — if one only has TV service, they’re out of luck — and came into effect this week. Depending on creditworthiness and how long that internet service has been active (30 days being the crucial pivot), users are eligible for between two and five lines of service.

There are two plans: both provide unlimited talk and text, but there’s a $45 monthly rate for unlimited data and a “By the Gig” rate of $14 per gigabyte allocated and charged every month — Xfinity charges $12 per gigabyte. Access to a Spectrum or Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot will be easy and data use is free.

With the new service providing an influx of traffic onto Verizon’s network, Xfinity Mobile recently put in new throttling restrictions, especially for its Unlimited customers. Those restrictions are also applied to Spectrum Mobile customers.

  • All video streaming is reduced to 480p resolution.
  • Unlimited line holders get full-speed cellular data for the first 20GB in a cycle before speeds are reduced. Hotspot usage counts against the 20GB total allowance and is speed-limited to 600kbps past the first 5GB of use.
  • By the Gig users have full-speed hotspot data at all times, but again, it counts against total usage for the month.
  • If customers drop their Spectrum Internet subscription, they will be charged an additional $20 per line per month and Spectrum/Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspot speeds will be capped to 5Mbps.

Currently, only the Galaxy S8, S8+, S9 and S9+ plus the LG K30 are available to use on the network. We suspect that iPhones will be made compatible with Spectrum Mobile in a short time — they also had to be weened onto Xfinity Mobile, too.

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.

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