Google’s wireless service is official, dubbed Project Fi
Just as the Wall Street Journal predicted, Google has now launched its new wireless service, Project Fi. We’ve been hearing rumors about the new service and what features it might bring for a while now and, as it turns out, the rumor mill was pretty spot on about a lot of things.
Project Fi is the first wireless service to seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and LTE, always choosing the connection that’s currently the strongest. Two different LTE networks are supported at the moment, T-Mobile and Sprint. The catch here is that only one phone has been designed to work with the special SIM required for Project Fi, the Google Nexus 6. The good news is that Google hints this is just the first of many devices, and so hopefully it’s only a matter of time before other popular Android devices gain support.
While you need a Nexus 6 for the service, those with Project Fi will be able to use their number even when not near their phone, utilizing any device with Google Hangouts installed.
While you need a Nexus 6 for the service, those with Project Fi will be able to use their number even when not near their phone, utilizing any device with Google Hangouts installed for calls, texts, and checking voicemail. That means laptops, tablets, Chromebooks, and so forth.
Pricing is pretty straightforward with Project Fi. You pay $20 a month for unlimited talk, text, and Wi-Fi tethering. Data is separate, and billed at a reasonable $10 for every 1GB of data you use. While this is prepaid and you pay for data in advance, any unused data will be credited back to you. It won’t be rounded up either, if you use 1.9 GB of data, you’ll get refunded for the .1GB you didn’t use. For those that travel, you’ll be happy to know that the service extends to 120+ countries while traveling abroad at no extra cost for data or texts. The only restriction is that speeds are limited down to just 256kbps while abroad. International calls are a separate charge at 20 cents a minute.
Interested in signing up for Project Fi? Not so fast. Similar to Inbox for Gmail, this is an invite only program, though you can request an invite. The only requirement is a Gmail account and a Nexus 6. The service isn’t quite up and ready, but Google says that invitees should be able to jump in with service sometime next week. Google will be sending out batches of invites each week, but don’t be shocked if it takes a while to get an invitation.
To see if you’re in an area that Project Fi currently covers, be sure to check our Google’s official coverage map. We’ll be sure to update you with even more details as they hit. What do you think, excited or not?