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Comcast's fledging MVNO project Xfinity Mobile is still in its early days – the service just started signing up customers in May, after all. But the company's executives shared some initial observations during Thursday's earnings call, perhaps the most interesting of which was the fact that customers are bypassing unlimited in favor of Comcast's “By the Gig” option.

Comcast Cable CEO David Watson said Xfinity Mobile is scaling well on an operational level as the service launches across the company's footprint. He also reported about half of customers who are onboarding to Xfinity Mobile are doing so via Comcast's digital channel.

But Watson noted Xfinity Mobile customers are making an interesting choice when it comes to their plans: they're bucking the trend toward unlimited data seen across the wireless industry and instead choosing the “By the Gig” offering. That choice allows customers to pay $12 per GB for the data they use each month rather than shelling out the $65 per month the unlimited plan costs.

“There's real value (in) 'By the Gig,'” Watson commented. “Most of our customers are taking 'By the Gig' versus unlimited. So we can do both. And the partnership with Verizon is going well. And so early response from customers is extremely positive. They like the service. They like the value. They like just how easy this is.”

This observation comes in stark contrast to MVNO partner Verizon's own experience with unlimited this past quarter. The introduction of that plan late in the first quarter provided sustained momentum that propelled the carrier to a surprisingly high 358,000 net phone additions in the most recent period.

“Even with the price premium we have, it shows that customers value the high-quality network experience that we deliver, and we saw that throughout the quarter,” Verizon CFO Matt Ellis said during Verizon's earnings call. Ellis said 59 percent of accounts are either on straight unlimited or a plan that offers the overage-preventing Safety Mode feature.

Though Comcast execs said the Xfinity Mobile rollout is going smoothly and presents bundling opportunities, Comcast Corp CEO Brian Roberts indicated the operator doesn't have a real interest to become more involved in wireless than it already is.

“While it's still early days, the customer feedback confirms our belief that we have an attractive proposition in the market,” Roberts reported. “(But) no disrespect to wireless, it's a tough business. And our strategy of MVNO, we really like what we're doing – and just it's very, very early with Xfinity Mobile. And our early employee results and our first set of customers really improves a lot of the things we hoped it would improve. It will be a long road, but I don't see something happening in that industry that we envy a position that we don't have today.”

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