Google Unveils Fi, New Wireless Service
April 23rd, 2015 | by Kevin James Krotz
Google has launched a US wireless service. Dubbed, Project Fi, Google is offering a pay-for-what-you-use data plan alongside a zero contract plan.
Project Fi’s plans are the best part of the service. Charging consumers only for the data they use rather than a monthly fee, Fi looks to be a great solution for those looking for a cheaper, fairer wireless service.
“For $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it’s a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it’s hard to predict your data usage, you’ll get credit for the full value of your unused data. Let’s say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You’ll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.”
While this all sounds wonderful, the service is limited. First of all, Google Fi is limited to those with a Nexus 6 smartphone, at least for now. Most likely the service will expand as time goes on, but for the time being, you’ll need a Nexus 6 to use Fi.
But that’s only if you get an invite. Google is making Project Fi an invite-only service, also for now. At the service’s home page (fi.google.com), you can request an invite.
Project Fi is also mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO. Google isn’t building any towers here, it’ll be piggybacking off of Spring and T-Mobile’s network. Those networks are allowing Google to use their unused capacity. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it means that you’re stuck with the coverage area of T-Mobile and Sprint, both of which are seriously lacking when compared the AT&T and Verizon.
Overall, Project Fi seems like a solid start for Google. If they can continue to offer prices like beat their competition, Project Fi seems like the next big competitor to major carriers.