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Who Xfinity Mobile is stealing customers from … and why

Ever since Comcast launched its Xfinity Mobile MVNO service last year, the market’s primary question has been: Which of the existing nationwide carriers will suffer the most from Comcast’s entry into the space?

Based on new survey data provided exclusively to FierceWireless, the answer is somewhat surprising. It’s Verizon.

According to a recent survey of Xfinity Mobile customers conducted by Market Strategies International, a majority of them came from Verizon. Specifically, almost one in four, or 27%, previously paid Verizon for their wireless service.

That’s a particularly surprising finding considering those customers are actually still on Verizon’s network, they’re just sending their money to a different company (a company that’s reportedlypaying Verizon $5 for every GB its Xfinity Mobile customers use). Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile service is an MVNO, which means that Comcast handles all of its mobile customers’ billing and service issues, but the actual underlying network they’re using is Verizon’s.

What’s even more surprising is that Xfinity Mobile customers generally ranked the MVNO’s network coverage as slightly better than Verizon’s network coverage, even though the underlying network is exactly the same. (That’s not a huge surprise considering just 29% of Xfinity Mobile’s customers knew that Verizon is the actual network provider for Comcast’s mobile service.) Xfinity Mobile customers also rated the MVNO’s price and speed higher than Verizon’s, though Xfinity Mobile customers did give Verizon a slight lead when it comes to customer service.

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