Project Fi is Google’s answer to a mobile network
Where as Google Fiber is all about getting a gigabit wired connection to your home, Project Fi is focused on wireless and your mobile network. More specifically, the devices you use being able to intelligently select the best network to be connected to based on where you are at any given time. Project Fi is Google’s mobile network solution.
At home the best connection is going to be WiFi, on the move it’s going to be any one of several 3G and 4G networks, and in public places it’s probably going to be a succession of hotspots offered by local businesses. Project Fi aims to remove the barriers currently in place that limits switching networks, or requires it be done manually. It should all be automatic and Fi makes it so.
Google refers to it as a “network of networks,” and its new tech takes all the effort out of ensuring you are connected to the best wireless network available regardless of where you are. It basically means more network towers will be available to your devices seamlessly.
In order for Project Fi to work, your phone number needs to live in the cloud. That doesn’t just mean better communications for your smartphone, though, it unlocks your voice chat on tablets, laptops, PCs, etc.
Project Fi is not free, however, as this is a complete replacement for your mobile phone contract. It costs $20 per month for unlimited talk, text, WiFi tethering, and international coverage (120+ countries) and then $10 per gigabyte of data per month after that. You buy that data in advance, but any unused allowance is carried over. So, for example, if you spend $50 one month, $20 pays for Project Fi access, and the remaining $30 is worth 3GB of data. If you only use 1GB of data, the other $20/2GB worth carries over to the following month. You will also need a Nexus 6 in order to use it right now as that’s the only supported handset.
Project Fi has the potential to really shake up the mobile market, much like Fiber is shaking up broadband right now. I can’t see it not being extremely popular due to its simplicity, but also if it delivers on its promise of greatly enhanced connectivity.
Project Fi is an invite only service, right now, but you can request an invite and hope you get lucky.