Charter Communications’ Spectrum Mobile unit has created a new service tier, Unlimited Plus, that allows 30 gigabytes of usage before users are throttled at speeds of 600 kilobits per second.
The plan, which runs $55 a month plus taxes and fees, and includes both 4G and 5G network access, also enables HD-quality video. Spectrum Mobile’s $45-a-month incumbent “unlimited” services only delivers 5G data usage before throttling, with video quality at a standard-definition level of 480p.
Like Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile, Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon’s national wireless network as part of a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) agreement. Spectrum Mobile grew by an impressive 325,000 subscribers in the second quarter and now has 1.69 million wireless subscribers. The Q2 growth was faster than that of either of the other U.S. cable companies with a mobile product — Comcast (with 126,000 mobile customer additions) or Altice USA (which gained 34,000 subscribers).
Charter is now advertising Spectrum Mobile as the “fastest-growing” U.S. wireless service.
For its part, Comcast’s unlimited wireless plan allows for 20 GB of usage before speeds are slowed. Xfinity Mobile users can pay $20 a month for 720p streaming via an add-on called HD Pass.
Charter’s press release didn’t define what it means by “HD-quality” video. Technically, 720p meets the bar. And since Comcast and Charter are joined at the hip in terms of how they execute their respective mobile businesses, even sharing technical and business information, it seems likely that 720p is what Unlimited Plus is offering.
Charter is billing Unlimited Plus as a “third option” for wireless customers, joining standard unlimited and the company’s $14-per-GB “by the gig” plan.
“With Unlimited Plus, Spectrum Mobile customers now have three simple and easy-to-understand data plans to choose from to fit their needs and budget, with no taxes and fees,” Charter chief mobile officer Danny Bowman said. “As our new top-tier data plan option, Unlimited Plus combined with Spectrum Mobile’s fastest overall speeds is the ideal choice for those customers who watch HD-quality video on the go.”
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