So Google finally dropped the bombshell on the wireless industry with their announcement of Project Fi which is their initiative to offer wireless service to customers and be a major disruption in how we get wireless service.
Project Fi’s network works by combining 4G LTE with Wi-Fi. Google won’t build out its own network, rather it will be making partnerships with current network providers. For 4G LTE they will be working with Sprint and T-Mobile. For Wi-Fi they will have various hotspot partnerships and the ability to use your own Wi-Fi. The Project Fi network will also be smart in giving you the best available coverage. So if T-Mobile is the best one in the area it will pick that, if it’s Sprint then it will switch and if it’s Wi-fi it will then change to that. Your number also exist in the cloud so you can switch between answering calls, text, and video chats between your phone, tablet or other supported devices seamlessly. I’m very interested in how all of this works. They already provided a coverage map which looks like it will take care of most densely populated metro areas with sparse coverage is more rural areas.
My concern will be if they are able to keep these hand offs between networks going well without dropping calls, text and data and if security will become an issue switching to Wi-Fi hotspots that are unsecured or easily hacked. The ability to use any device and your number in the cloud is Google Voice evolving which many of use have been waiting for. Sprint and T-Mobile are good networks to start with but if we can get another one in there like an AT&T or Verizon it could mean coverage no matter where you go.
Now for what this will cost you. Project Fi will start with a base plan of $20/month, which will included unlimited voice, unlimited local and international text, low-cost international calling and hotspot support. For data it’s $10 per 1 GB and you can choose how much data you want to pay for up to $100 for 10 GB. But here is the catch, your only going to pay for the data that you use. So if you choose the max plan which is the base plan plus 10 GB of data you will spend $120/month, but within that month you only use 5 GB of that data, you will receive a credit back for amount you do not use which in this case would be $50. They haven’t said if the money goes back into you bank account but most likely it rolls over to the next month. This could be a huge savings cost for many people who vary in their data usage every month. I think this is the biggest shake up in the Project Fi announcement.
Now for devices only the Nexus 6 is supported and sign ups are limited to an invite system which we have signed up ourselves and will have a link below for you to check out. Project Fi is exciting to me and could be the real game changer our current stale, confusing and expensive wireless pricing plans and structure are now. If we can get a few more flagship smartphones from HTC, LG or Samsung we could have a real competitor here. Let me know what you think in the comments below and check out the video as well.