The much anticipated Google Wireless Service – Project Fi was launched on April 22nd, but only in the US and has limited carrier coverage. Tech giant Google does not own a wireless network, they are a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) and need to rely on partnerships with Mobile Network operators in order to provide this service. While Google would be a bigger player as an MVNO, they are not the first to provide this service and there are many MVNO’s in Canada, some you already know the name or they could be your provider, for example, Fido, 7-Eleven and Cityfone’s network operator is Rogers, Kodo and Public’s network operator is Telus and the list goes on.
The U.S. carriers that have partnered with Google are T-Mobile and Sprint, so the service is available in areas under their network and coverage. If you’re wondering why these carriers would partner with Google who would deliver a service promising fast speeds, easy communication and better pricing, or partner with any other company, is carriers have unused data on their network and benefit by getting paid by Google (or other MVNO’s) to utilize the data. Google in turn, sells the service to the consumer.
Benefits of Project Fi
- Using Google’s Wireless service will ensure if your signal becomes weak, you seamlessly move to another cell network, be it a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network.
- Get more bang for your buck, you are not limited to one device, you can talk, text, and check voice on multiple devices that supports Google Hangouts (Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, or Chromebook).
- You are not confined to just one place; wherever you are on Wi-Fi, you can talk and text like you normally do whether at home, in your car or anywhere in the coverage area.
- No annual contract
What’s the Plan?
OK, so what are the benefits to the plan? Well, price for one and it’s an important one. For starters, you only pay for the data you use, which does seem to be going a bit backward, this was used with prepaid for years and one reason consumers went with plans, but with this Google service, the cost is lower per GB. The good news is if you do not use the data for the month, Google gives you credit in dollars and cents for your unused data so you save that money. This is a good plan for those who pay a lot for a plan with their current provider and pay a flat fee, but do not use their data each month, then they could potentially save with Google Wireless.
THE PLAN – It starts with the Fi Basics for $20 per month. This includes:
- Unlimited domestic talk and text
- Unlimited international texts
- Low-cost international calls
- Wi-Fi tethering
- Coverage in 120+ countries
Then it’s $10 per GB for data. $10 for 1GB, $20 for 2GB, $30 for 3GB and so on. That’s it.
Sign Up (again only if you are in the US)
To get started, here is what you will need:
- To be in the Network Coverage area (Link to Google Project Fi Coverage Map)
- A new or existing gmail account.
- Google already sent some invites, but in case you didn’t get it in the mail, you can request an invite to the Early Access Program (I want an invite!)
- Devices – Right now the service requires a SIM card that will only work on Google’s Nexus 6 phone.
- Wait patiently by your Gmail for an answer to your invite. OK, not too long a wait, Google promises an answer within 30 days.
Maybe Google Can Explain it Better – Oh good, a movie