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Charter's new mobile service makes your videos look like something out of 2005

Charter's Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon's network and happily throttles your video streaming to 480p.

Published onJuly 5, 2018

  • Charter Communications finally launched Spectrum Mobile over a year after Comcast launched Xfinity Mobile.
  • Spectrum Mobile uses Verizon’s network and offers two ways to pay your monthly bill.
  • You can get Spectrum Mobile if you live in Charter’s cable territory and have a Spectrum home internet plan.

Cable giant Charter Communications finally launched Spectrum Mobile, the company’s long-awaited mobile service. Even though the service shares many similarities with Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile, it is worth looking at what it includes.

Spectrum Mobile offers two ways to pay: a flat $45-per-month plan and “By the Gig,” which lets you pay $14 each month for each gigabyte you want to use each month. Each plan includes 20GB of high-speed data, along with unlimited talk and text.

Each plan also includes 5GB of high-speed mobile hotspot, which slows down to 600kbps once the allotment for the month is up. Your mobile hotspot use also counts toward your monthly 20GB data bucket. Once you pass that limit, Charter slows your speeds until the next billing cycle.

You do not want to experience those slow speeds, since Spectrum Mobile works on Verizon’s network.

If all of this sounds a bit familiar, that is because Xfinity Mobile offers similar pricing and plan structures. This is not a big surprise, since Charter and Comcast agreed to cooperate on the operational aspects of their mobile services.

The two biggest U.S. cable companies also agreed to not have their mobile services compete with each other. That is why Xfinity Mobile is only available in Comcast’s cable territory. Similarly, Spectrum Mobile is only available in Charter’s cable territory.

If you do not maintain a residential Spectrum internet subscription, you will see a monthly $20 surcharge for each line. Spectrum will also knock your speeds down to 5Mbps if you use any of the company’s Wi-Fi hotspots. Finally, while you can change your plan, you cannot add additional lines.

The hits do not stop there as Spectrum Mobile throttles all video streaming to 480p resolution. There is no option to allow customers to pay for HD video streaming, though that might not change the fact that video will look terrible on your smartphone’s Quad HD display.

By comparison, Comcast recently updated Xfinity Mobile with the same throttling. Existing customers get 720p video streams “on an interim basis at no extra charge.”

If you want a closer look at Spectrum Mobile, you can sign up at the link below.

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