Google Launches Wireless Service, Project Fi

Google announced its plans to offer a formal wireless service called Project Fi. Some key facts here:

  • It’s for Nexus 6 owners only, at first.
  • It’s invite only right now. You can sign up for an invite here.
  • It’s built on top of Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks
  • No contracts
  • Subscribers pay $20 for unlimited talk/text, and then pay $10 per gig of data. So a 3GB plan would be $30 on top of that $20, coming out to a total of $50.
  • You only pay for what you use, but in sort of a strange way: if you pay for 3GB of data per month ($30) but only use 1.5GB, you’ll get $15 back at the end of the month.
  • It’s all tied into Google Hangouts, which will allow you to place calls from your number on any Hangouts-enabled tablet or laptop in addition to your phone.
  • WiFi Tethering is included.
  • This is what their US Coverage map currently looks like (Montana gets basically no love):

Why It’s Hot: As seen in the video, Google is taking the direction of a democratic approach to wireless service. The fact that the company will return money to users who do not use the full data they buy for the month feels very transformative in the industry. However, some of the promotional aspects are clear as well, leveraging Google Hangouts and Nexus phones as the chosen platforms. It will be interesting to see how the product evolves and impacts the industry.