Xfinity mobile deprioritizes your data speeds when the network is heavily used. Data deprioritization is when your cell phone carrier slows down your data speeds temporarily because the network is congested.
Xfinity Mobile is a Verizon MVNO (mobile virtual network operator). Xfinity doesn’t own any cell phone towers. It just buys capacity (data and voice) from Verizon at wholesale rates and then resells the capacity to consumers. So Verizon has the incentive to give the highest priority to direct Verizon customers and not so much its resellers.
How bad is Xfinity Mobile’s prioritization?
If you are in a crowded stadium and there are thousands of Verizon users around, your speeds are likely to be slow. Your videos might buffer and apps may respond slowly. But that doesn’t happen often. For most users, there is no network congestion most of the time and they will get high data speeds comparable to Verizon users.
Most Xfinity mobile users will only occasionally encounter data deprioritization and slower speeds. Just be aware that Xfinity slows down data speeds before you sign up to avoid surprises. It’s not just Xfinity mobile, every MVNO (eg. Boost, Mint, Total Wireless, etc.) does it.
Advantages of using Xfinity for cell phone service
Xfinity Mobile’s plans involve no-contract. They are also cheaper and more flexible than Verizon’s plans. In fact, you could save up to 50% compared to Verizon’s post-paid plans. By signing up with Xfinity mobile, you are making a trade-off between cost and data prioritization. I have had Xfinity Mobile for a few years and hardly see my data speeds slowed down.
What is the difference between throttling and deprioritization?
Data throttling occurs when you exceed your plan’s limits and your data speeds are slowed down. Beyond the data limits of the plan, many plans will move you to 2/3G speeds which are very slow. This is very different from data prioritization where your data speeds will be reduced from the first day of your billing cycle if the network is congested.
Can you avoid deprioritization?
When you sign up with an MVNO like Xfinity, you sign up for deprioritization during peak usage. There is no way to get around that. There are no tricks or hacks to overcome slower speeds.
If you want no deprioritization, you should consider moving to a Verizon post-paid plan. But those plans are expensive and are unnecessary for most people.
If you are on the Unlimited plan, Xfinity gives you the option to buy an HD Pass for $20 to avoid a temporary slowdown in speeds when the network is heavily used.
When you sign up with Xfinity Mobile, you will experience slower speeds when the network is busy and congested. But that doesn’t happen often. Your data speeds will be fine 99% of the time. But you will be paying less with Xfinity Mobile compared to Verizon and the trade-off is worth it.