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Thread: Tried an experiment with Xfinity Wireless

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    Tried an experiment with Xfinity Wireless

    I was recently looking into setting my mom up with Xfinity Wireless to replace her unreliable Virgin Mobile plan. I bought a used Iphone 5c and activated it, intending to just keep the data switched off and try it out for strictly voice service.

    Yes, my mom's a cheapskate. It's a terrific deal if you just want phone service, though. Less than $3/month, and they even give you 100MB of data to play with.

    Anyway, on a lark, I took the activated SIM and put it in my Pixel to see what would happen. As you might know, Xfinity aren't activating BYOD Android phones yet, for reasons only known to them. But the Pixel worked fine. It connected to the Verizon network, allowed me to make a voice call, and even connected to the LTE network and gave me data.

    So, what are we to make of this? Is this just a case where Xfinity won't let you activate a BYOD Android, but it'll work without a problem as long as you just have an iPhone to activate the SIM on? Do you think I should try out using the Pixel on the Xfinity service for a while and test whether they boot me off the network at some point?

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    >It's a terrific deal if you just want phone service, though. Less than $3/month

    I have the same deal for my dad, via my brother's Comcast sub. But it's not a great deal as you'd think, because Comcast can recoup any savings through price increases for its other subs. Comcast knows you're not likely to leave over a few dollars' increase, because of the increased hassle, now that your phone line is also through it. And the increase is always only a few dollars at a time. In short, a wireless sub reduces churn, which is the main priority of cable providers. It's a loss leader, but rest assured the provider won't lose money over the long term.

    My dad's acct uses a GV number, so it can be readily migrated.

    >Is this just a case where Xfinity won't let you activate a BYOD Android, but it'll work without a problem as long as you just have an iPhone to activate the SIM on?

    It's a matter of support. Android BYOD support would be a nightmare, and Comcast support isn't known for their prowess. If you want to go offroad, great, but don't expect any support for it.

    Looking ahead, SIM swapping won't be possible when eSIM (which is present on all new iPhones) use spread to MVNOs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by e.mote View Post
    ....>Is this just a case where Xfinity won't let you activate a BYOD Android, but it'll work without a problem as long as you just have an iPhone to activate the SIM on?

    It's a matter of support. Android BYOD support would be a nightmare, and Comcast support isn't known for their prowess. If you want to go offroad, great, but don't expect any support for it.

    Looking ahead, SIM swapping won't be possible when eSIM (which is present on all new iPhones) use spread to MVNOs.
    You are probably right it's about support. But I think apple is kicking money to Xfinity.
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    Is Xfinity using Verizons network?
    If so that explains why the sim worked. My understanding is that once a sim is activated on a whitelisted phone you can move it around just fine to other phones that couldn't activate through their web portals, as an example a phone that is not officially supported nor sold by them and won't allow you to use the IMEI from that phone to get activated but has all the official support for Verizon built in.

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    inity

    Quote Originally Posted by Citrulaseroxy View Post
    Is Xfinity using Verizons network?
    If so that explains why the sim worked. My understanding is that once a sim is activated on a whitelisted phone you can move it around just fine to other phones that couldn't activate through their web portals, as an example a phone that is not officially supported nor sold by them and won't allow you to use the IMEI from that phone to get activated but has all the official support for Verizon built in.
    Yeah, Xfinity uses Verizon's network. I currently use AT&T Prepaid myself, but the unlimited LTE data on Verizon for $45/month is really appealing to me if AT&T's 8GB at $42.50/month doesn't work out. Now that I know that the SIM swap works, this might be the way to go in the future, except that I do go up to Canada often enough that AT&T's free roaming up there is a really appealing feature for me.

    The weird thing is that Xfinity do offer Android phones to use, but don't yet allow Android BYOD. There's nothing stopping them but working out which models to support, I guess.

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    >My understanding is that once a sim is activated on a whitelisted phone you can move it around just fine to other phones that couldn't activate through their web portals

    You don't get "advanced" features like wifi-calling or visual voicemail for uncertified phones.

    Verizon has a vested interest in maintaining its walled garden, ie getting phone vendors to pay for certification, and I'd expect more such features to appear as 5G makes them feasible. As mentioned, eSIM will add another tool to VZW's arsenal to lock down its phones.


    >but the unlimited LTE data on Verizon for $45/month is really appealing to me

    Color me a nitpicker, but 20GB w/ soft cap doesn't qualify as "unlimited."

    >The weird thing is that Xfinity do offer Android phones to use, but don't yet allow Android BYOD.

    The certified phones' software load is known, and likely contain tools to aid in remote diagnostics. Support scripts for them probably exist. Most importantly, they are new phones, not ones with pre-existing problems or issues that users will inevitably blame on XM when things don't work. Comcast already has a rep for terrible support, and I doubt it wants to compound the problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by docsane View Post
    Yeah, Xfinity uses Verizon's network. I currently use AT&T Prepaid myself, but the unlimited LTE data on Verizon for $45/month is really appealing to me if AT&T's 8GB at $42.50/month doesn't work out. Now that I know that the SIM swap works, this might be the way to go in the future, except that I do go up to Canada often enough that AT&T's free roaming up there is a really appealing feature for me.

    The weird thing is that Xfinity do offer Android phones to use, but don't yet allow Android BYOD. There's nothing stopping them but working out which models to support, I guess.
    Xfinity's rates to roam in Canada are $0.10/$0.10/$0.05, so depending on how much you use your phone while in Canada, having roaming in Canada included could be quite a savings. But like you said, it all depends on if AT&T's 8GB/mo LTE for $42.50/mo is enough for your needs or if Xfinity's unlimited LTE at ~$48(?)/mo would be a better fit for your domestic usage.

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    I have to wonder how android BYOD would be any more a nightmare for XM than every other VZW MVNO, or any carrier network MVNO for that matter, that allows Android BYOD?

    It is a ludicrous proposition that XM would have any difficulty managing the BYOD of Android devices.

    Especially when XM actually activates Android devices that are no different than their non XM branded cousins and more so when you can SIM swap and no real issues come of it, certainly in my case and of so many others all the features XM offers are functional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ls61 View Post
    I have to wonder how android BYOD would be any more a nightmare for XM than every other VZW MVNO, or any carrier network MVNO for that matter, that allows Android BYOD?

    It is a ludicrous proposition that XM would have any difficulty managing the BYOD of Android devices.

    Especially when XM actually activates Android devices that are no different than their non XM branded cousins and more so when you can SIM swap and no real issues come of it, certainly in my case and of so many others all the features XM offers are functional.
    From what I can see, though I could be wrong, the issue is that Xfinity Mobile has had the phone number tied to the phone in their software. So, if you swap SIMS around, or put the SIM in a non-supported phone, it screws up their account management system. Basically, that their account system was very poorly developed initially -- perhaps in part because of how poorly Xfinity understood that many people want to use "unlocked' phones, particularly on prepaid.

    They say they are doing account updates on Nov 10-12. While they haven't said exactly what they are doing, I believe they are changing it so the line is not hard set to a particular phone (that requires "admin" to change), but so users can swap phones themselves, not needing an account level change. I think this is what has held them up from allowing Android BYOD, and that after this update occurs (and they test out BYOD on a limited basis) they'll allow it. The rumors I heard for BYOD were the first of next year -- between the update and testing time (including the time lost to the holidays -- would make the timing seem about right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mogelijk View Post
    From what I can see, though I could be wrong, the issue is that Xfinity Mobile has had the phone number tied to the phone in their software. So, if you swap SIMS around, or put the SIM in a non-supported phone, it screws up their account management system. Basically, that their account system was very poorly developed initially -- perhaps in part because of how poorly Xfinity understood that many people want to use "unlocked' phones, particularly on prepaid.

    They say they are doing account updates on Nov 10-12. While they haven't said exactly what they are doing, I believe they are changing it so the line is not hard set to a particular phone (that requires "admin" to change), but so users can swap phones themselves, not needing an account level change. I think this is what has held them up from allowing Android BYOD, and that after this update occurs (and they test out BYOD on a limited basis) they'll allow it. The rumors I heard for BYOD were the first of next year -- between the update and testing time (including the time lost to the holidays -- would make the timing seem about right.
    I have swapped SIMs and the only issue with my account is that it doesn't identify the particular device manufacturer and model, just specifies the device as "Null". It does show the correct device IMEI and usage.

    Not sure how you can develop a platform that allows the activation of android imei and somehow can not BYOD. Whats to test, is there some need to reinvent the wheel when every other VZW MVNO with the exception of maybe two allow Android BYOD?

    My guess would be that they are waiting for VZW to transition away from CDMA before they allow BYOD, but if that were the case then they could easily just follow the BYOD list that Verizon has instituted.

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    >I have to wonder how android BYOD would be any more a nightmare for XM than every other VZW MVNO

    Comcast isn't like every other VZW MVNO. It already has over a million subs, and potentially tens of millions more. It has to be more conservative, especially so considering its tattered rep for support. I'm guessing Android BYOD, when it happens, will likely be limited to a few popular Android models.

    Other MVNOs don't actually provide support for BYOD anyway, more than the usual "do factory reset" or "we'll send you a new SIM" help. I don't think that will fly with the Comcast userbase.

    >when you can SIM swap and no real issues come of it, certainly in my case and of so many others all the features XM offers are functional.

    What's ludicrous is how some people are so myopic that they think their personal experience should be everyone else's. There've been plenty of BYOD problems reported on this forum alone. The world is a pretty large place, and possible doesn't always equate to feasible.

    Whatever the reason, it is what it is. Comcast has decided on a go-slow approach to BYOD, IMO prudently so. No amount of guessing or ranting will change its time table.

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