It’s been rumored for some time, it was even rumored that today would be the day that it was announced. Those rumors held up as Google has today taken the lid off of their new mobile operator initiative, Project Fi.
We’ve seen quite a lot of the details come out previously as rumors, and many of them have turned out to be true, but here are some of the more interesting features of Project Fi.
As it was rumored, Google’s MVNO will initially be available only on the Nexus 6. The Nexus 6 is the only phone that currently supports Google’s SIM that allows for multiple networks. You can use the Nexus 6 you already own, or Google will be happy to sell you one when you sign up (with interest-free financing provided you pass their credit check). The multiple networks that you will connect to belong to T-Mobile and Sprint. Project Fi will connect you to whichever network is fastest at any given time. Whenever possible you’ll also be automatically connected to free Wi-Fi hotspots that Google has verified as fast and reliable, and Project Fi will automatically turn on encryption whenever you’re connected to one of these Wi-Fi hotspots.
Google also wants to make the billing process easier to understand. Rather than paying for a bucket of data to use or lose, Google is rolling out a system that charges you only for what you use. You will still set a monthly amount of data, say for example 2Gb of data at $20 per month. If you happen to go over your allotted 2Gb, you can easily add additional data at $10 per Gb. On the other hand, if you only use 1.5Gb one month, your account will be credited $5 for the data that you did not use. Your data plan will also work in over 120 countries around the world, though speeds will be significantly slower (but included!) in many of those countries.
Google has also built the Project Fi app to help keep you in control of your account. You’ll be able to change plans to add or remove data, view and pay your bill, or check your data usage through the app. Google is also promising a simplified, easy to understand bill and 24/7 support.
Other features including seamless transitions from cellular to Wi-Fi – even during phone calls – and using the same phone number across any device that supports Google Hangouts are just icing on the cake.
Project Fi is currently invite-only, with a Nexus 6 being the other current barrier to get onto the system. Other operators manage to cover many of the individual aspects of Project Fi, but none can say they support everything that Project Fi is capable of. Some normal mobile network caveats do still apply though. If you’re living in an area where T-Mobile or Sprint do not have good service, you’re going to have a bad time with Project Fi too.
As with most other introductions for Google services, they’ve created the video below announcing Project Fi.
What do you think? Time to ditch your current provider and let Google handle your wireless service? Or are you happy with what you’ve already got? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.Source: Project Fi
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