Google's Project FI is the company's long-rumoured wireless carrier service for mobile devices. But far from a traditional plan, Google's might be the most flexible out there — while also saving customers a bundle of money
Unlike Google's other public infrastructure program, Google Fibre, for which the company is physically putting fibre in the ground, Google isn't actually building out a network of cell towers for Project Fi. Instead, it's piggybacking on Sprint and T-Mobile's networks. (This is also how providers like Republic Wireless work.) The plan offers 4G/LTE coverage, and wireless tethering, and Wi-Fi calling all included.
What makes Project Fi special and potentially more reliable than anything out there is that it dynamically switches between networks depending which of those is offering the best service in your area. Additionally, if there's pre-vetted public Wi-Fi available, it will jump on board that network as well. The "network of networks" has a lot of potential to be more reliable. If one network has an outage, the others can serve as support.
The new plans costs $US20 for starters, which gets you talk, text and wireless tethering. Then it costs $US10 per 1GB of data. So if like me, you've got 3GB per month, then you would pay $US50 per month. The kicker is that if you don't use all the data you pay for you'll get paid back for what you don't use.
Google's currently in an invitation-only phase of the program. OK, so this sounds pretty sweet if not exactly different from what Republic Wireless just started offering, though, in the long run Google's deep pockets will sure be an asset. Something about the Google name attached to Project Fi makes me both trust it more, while also creeping me out. Sure, Google implies reliability, but I also don't know how much more control over every aspect I want to give Google.