After weeks of speculation that reached a fever pitch during Mobile World Congress in March with an official confirmation, Google has formally announced its entry as a wireless service provider with the launch of “Project Fi”, a new kind of MVNO that espouses new ideas in wireless service, similar to the goals for the Nexus hardware program through working with carriers and hardware manufacturers.
Project Fi is being launched in conjunction with Sprint and T-Mobile with the Nexus 6 as a required device, where Google has confirmed that the Nexus 6 was developed with this service in mind. The service works by seamlessly moving between a verified Wi-Fi network with consistent speeds and both Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s LTE networks depending on network conditions. Google has also introduced “cloud-based” phone numbers that can easily move between devices and allow incoming and outgoing phone calls, regardless of device.
The service itself starts at just $20 monthly for unlimited voice, messaging and voice across 120+ countries, with voice roaming for an additional 20 cents per minute. Where the advantage of the service makes itself most apparent is in data costs, as 1GB of data is only an additional $10, no matter where you are in the world.
The low data costs also come with another perk, as Google has set up Project Fi to reimburse users that buy more data than they need and end up not using it, with the refunds scaling to how much data was initially purchased and went unused in a given service cycle. The service is currently operating under an invite system for those with a Nexus 6 and is now live. The video below demonstrates the service.