Google introduces Project Fi; $20 unlimited talk and text, $10 per GB of data



Google has made it official. As expected, the tech titan has introduced its Project Fi MVNO that will offer consumers wireless service in the U.S. using cellular networks belonging to Sprint and T-Mobile. In addition, Google will also use Wi-Fi networks when available. New technology devised by Google will connect subscribers to the fastest network possible at any given moment, regardless if it is a Wi-Fi connection or a cellular one.

The service will choose from more than 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots verified as being "fast and reliable" by Google. Once connected, the signals will be encrypted. Calls will be seamlessly handed over from Wi-Fi to cellular. Customers' Project Fi phone numbers are stored in the cloud, so they can be used on any device that supports Google Hangouts.

The only phone that will be offered to subscribers is the Motorola-built Nexus 6. When using a cellular network, the phablet will use a special technology that will connect to either a T-Mobile or Sprint signal depending on which one is stronger at the time. The handset will be available in the "Midnight Blue" color with either 32GB of storage or 64GB of memory. You can pay for the phone at one time, which works out to $649 or $699, respectively. There is an option that will allow you to pay $27.04 monthly over 24 months for the 32GB model, or $29.12 a month over 24 months for the 64GB version. A credit check is required with this option. Those already sporting a Nexus 6 can use it with Project Fi simply by inserting a special SIM card into the phone.

According to reports, Google has promised Sprint that traffic coming from the MVNO would not go over a certain metric. If that figure is exceeded, Sprint will have the right to renegotiate its contract. As for T-Mobile, not all of the carrier's features, like HD Voice or Wi-Fi calling, will be available to Google's MVNO users. 

Google will charge $20 a month plus taxes and fees for unlimited domestic voice and texting, unlimited international texting, low-cost international calls, Wi-Fi tethering and coverage in more than 120 countries. Data will cost $10 per GB with overages billed at the same rate. At the end of each month, you are credited in dollars and cents for any unused data.

Right now, the only way to become a customer of Google's MVNO is via an invitation. You can request one by checking out the Project Fi website, which you will see by clicking on the sourcelink.


source: Google, ProjectFi via FierceWireless

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55 Comments

1. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Depending on your current plan, it can be a really good deal or a bad one. For most people, it is good. But for heavy users and those with family plans, not really worth it. I pay $30 on my T-Mo family plan with unlimited everything. Not worth it for me. But I can see it saving a lot of people money. But they need more phones before they get big. That's a must.

25. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Don't forget though - it will use faster wifi when it's available.

32. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Lol this looks like a terrible deal. There's far better options out there. At least the Nexus 6 is FINALLY in stock. If this was several months ago, you would be screwed.

38. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Cricket, MetroPCS, Boost, and Republic all trump this. $10 a GB is horrible. Not even a cut on the Nexus 6, to make matters worse. Very disappointed. "Earth-Shattering" became a bottle rocket at best... "Disruptive"... ROFLMAO...

41. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

what you guys are not taking into consideration is that this uses both Tmobile AND Sprint's network as well as wifi calling. None of the other services offer that. So technically, it should have darn good coverage which is not something to be said of most MNVO's that use only limited parts of a single network. $10 a GB is only horrible if your a heavy user. Most people dont go above 1-2 gigs. So your still looking at potentially great service and 30-40 a month for one line. Theguy, YOU may pay $30 for your extra line on a family line, but the total cost is already paid in by the first 2 lines which are much more expensive. Apples and oranges.

42. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

Yeah, and even if I were to go to this thing, I would pay more. The person on those lines use around six-seven gigs of data, so still not worth it. This is just a bad deal for heavy users and people on family plans. That's all.

43. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

It's an enormous misconception that most people don't go above 1-2 gigs. What funny is that Verizon touted that nonsense when it removed the unlimited plans. Well Verizon.. if most customers didn't use over 2gb, why not just keep the unlimited plans? At least it would give your customers some comfort when using the data.. either way they don't use more than 2gb, right? WRONG! Most customers use more than 2gb, and they damn well knew it. It was yet another play to rob more money from their users. Customers are forced to maintain under 2gb as to not pay overage fees.. it's NOT out of their own accord or because that's their real usage. Had Google done something like 500mb data with the base $20 plan, then 1gb for $30, 3gb for $40, and 5gb for $50, THEN $10 extra per gb, this would be definitely in the best interests of the customers. You may talk about Fi using both T-Mobile and Sprint, but remember that they're paying wholesale price per GB, and only pay for what is used on their network. As a user, if you use 3gb a month and 100 minutes and 200 texts as your average monthly usage, it's not like suddenly you're going to do that on each respective network.. It would then be pretty much split between the two.. meaning the cost for Google is the same as if it would be utilizing just 1 carrier. It isn't any more expensive for them to utilize 2 carriers, because as I mentioned, they pay wholesale price for data and only pay for what is actually used.

50. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Nobody said "people DONT go above.." However, the vast majority.. probably around 80% dont go above 2 gigs. No matter how smart the phone, most dont use it for for more than texting/facebook/email/ ect. This isnt meant for power users... which means it isnt meant for the majority of the people on sites like this. However, unless it gets massively advertised, I'm gonna safely say it misses the ball since only power users are gonna be "in the know" about it and getting the majority of these invites. However, it's just the beginning. Its the first plan of probably quite a few that will be rolled out. Early adopters generally pay the most, so if this is "the most", then we're starting on fantastic ground. Quit being so short sighted people.

51. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Verizon and other carriers said that. They said that most users DON'T use more than 2gb. Most users DO use more than 2gb data. The reason why a still sizable amount of people don't, is because they can't, otherwise they have to face overages. So people resort to doing everything over wifi. That's the sad fact.

46. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

This is true. Cricket also will offer the monthly phone installments too starting tomorrow when they begin selling the S6, you would be able to get that for around the same price as the Nexus 6 and it's a more powerful phone.

54. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

Its imposible to pay that price.

2. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Though a good deal, not exactly earth shattering, especially for requiring a $600+ Nexus 6.

52. CuppaJoWo

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 24, 2015

Exactly. Google's been completely misjudging how much their products are worth lately. The Nexus line is NOT worth $600+, and for a new service like this, it's not even competitively priced.

3. MarquiX unregistered

...........Meh.

53. CuppaJoWo

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 24, 2015

Getting kind of sick of Google's half assed projects. But then again, Google's been pumping out mostly half assed products for a decade, so nothin new.

4. michaelny2001

Posts: 336; Member since: Aug 01, 2012

well, you can always get H2O for 30 bucks you have unlimited talk and text, international calling and 500MB of data. and that is 30 flat no taxes and runs on AT&T which i smuch stronger than T-mobile and Sprint combined. Or 5 bucks more gives you Cricket unlimited everything and 2.5GB of LTE. I think google should have chosen verizon or AT&T cuz the bottom 2 carriers... meh.

5. EnigmaticPsychotic

Posts: 70; Member since: Nov 26, 2013

Pass. I'll stick with my T-Mobile $30 plan.

8. finestgq1

Posts: 35; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Same here, been rocking it that $30 plan. 100 min talk + Unlimited data. Can't go wrong with that.

9. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

I used to have this plan and rely on Hangouts to place calls in order to save the 100min of voice for incoming calls. However, I eventually switched to MetroPCS to the $40 plan with 2GB (sniff!) because people complained about my breaking up when using Hangouts, whether I was on data or on WiFi, and having a hard time understanding me. Now, it seems that Fi kind of relies on Hangouts too much, but its quality seems to be typical of Google: good at the beginning, until Google loses interest on it.

6. Darnelll

Posts: 19; Member since: Dec 27, 2011

Can you make your default wifi even if its slower to cut down on costs? They dont charge you for wifi data, right?

18. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

I think they do lol.

24. H3Drvr

Posts: 43; Member since: Apr 30, 2013

I think they don't. Why would Fi charge you when you're connected to your home (or any) wifi? Data would be charged when you're using Fi's network.

44. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Actually you're correct. They only charge for cellular data used. I assumed that they would be counting all data used on the device, especially if you're connected to wifi other than your own.

7. j_scorp

Posts: 61; Member since: Oct 22, 2013

I'm with T-Mo, but this seems interesting. I would jump ship if T-Mo wasn't so damn good and affordable. So thanks for trying Google. You are about 2 years too late.

10. skymitch89

Posts: 1453; Member since: Nov 05, 2010

Could also go with Cricket and get Unlimited everything (2.5Gb full speed 4G data) using At&t network for $40 per month (or $35 per month after $5 autopay credit).

17. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

or Cricket 10gb plan for $60 ($55 after autopay).

26. murron

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

It's not full-speed data. It's throttled to 8mbps on LTE and 4mbps on HSPA+

28. Mxyzptlk unregistered

8mbps is fast enough on a mobile connection.

35. murron

Posts: 162; Member since: Jun 10, 2014

I know it's plenty fast for almost everything. I was just pointing out that it is not "Full-speed" as suggested above. Throttled to any speed is not full speed.

39. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

Yeah, but it still is "unlimited" and plenty fast before and after the soft cap.

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