Google just announced Project Fi, its new wireless phone service. The company is partnering in the US with T-Mobile and Sprint for the new project.
Project Fi is a bit like a traditional carrier plan you would get from any other provider, except Google is focusing on two key areas: making it easier to switch between Wi-Fi and cellular, and helping you to only pay for the data you actually use.
For example, when you’re using Project Fi, the service will automatically connect you to whichever network is fastest and within range.
So, if you’re using cellular but there’s a faster Wi-Fi service nearby, it will automatically switch, and vice versa. Google also says it uses encryption to protect your data once your device is connected.
And Google says it will credit you for unused data that you’ve already paid for once your cycle is up. That’s the real advantage you can’t get with a wireless carrier today.
For $US20 per month, you get all the basics such as talk, text, and international coverage. Then, you pay a flat rate of $US10 per gigabyte of data. So 1GB of data is $US10 per month, 2GB is $US20 per month, and so on.
That’s a big deal — not only is Google crediting you for the data you don’t use, but the pricing plan is really simple and transparent compared to those offered by carriers.
For now, Project Fi is only available on Google’s Nexus 6 phone. You would connect your phone number to any device that supports Google Hangouts, so that you can make or receive phone calls on phones, laptops, and Chromebooks among other devices.
Google’s Sundar Pichai mentioned at Mobile World Congress that Google was working on a small-scale wireless network, but this is the first time we’re hearing concrete details.