This is not one of my typical posts about marketing or social media, but it is most definitely about connectivity.
In mid-June, I signed up for a staggering new Google venture called Project Fi, which is a technology that combines Wi-Fi and 4G LTE service from T-Mobile and Sprint to deliver a new type of cellular service. While this is no moonshot project that has Google developers off pioneering self-driving cars and contact lenses with wireless chips inside, Project Fi promises a new world of possibilities.
Aside from the release of LTE service, the most notable advances in cellular tech have been dominated by the devices and not the service. With every iPhone update, Apple has customers streaming to their doors, but with Google Project Fi, they’re introducing a new service that will surely soon play a large part in future cell tech advances.
To keep from blathering on about how brilliant this new service is, I’ve noted some highlights of the service for those interested in this pioneering tech. The following are my top 5 reasons why Google Project Fi will
rule revolutionize the world:
It’s a Network of Networks
Q: What’s better than 1? A: 2
Q: What’s better than being alone? A: Being with a group of friends
Q: What’s better than a scoop of ice cream? A: A tub of ice cream and a spoon.
I’m sure you get the concept. More is better. (In most cases. Let’s not get negative here.) And, the “more is better” approach applies to Google Project Fi. By harnessing the power of not only 4G LTE carriers, but also WiFi networks, Project Fi vastly extends the possibilities of connectivity.
Yet another terrific feature of the service is that you seamlessly (at least in theory) transfer from network to network while on a call.
Competitive Pricing Structure
If you are with one of the large US national carriers, like AT&T & Verizon, you are often locked into contracts with overage fees, upgrade restrictions and various other lovely items that pop up on bills. Google Project Fi, like many newer cell service providers (ie. Republic Wireless, Ting, Straight Talk) offer a new alternative to pricing when it comes to service options.
With Google Project Fi, everyone has the same base-level package where you pay $20/mo for unlimited talk and text. Then, you simply choose the level of data you plan to consume each month. Each GB of data is $10, so if you want a plan with 3 GB, you’ll pay $20 for the talk/text and $30 for data. Not sure where to start? Pick a level and play it out. See how much data you use. THEN, the lovely part about Fi is that if you use less, you get the difference back on the following month’s bill.
Here’s the math:
$20/mo + 3 GB of data ($30) = $50
(ex. You use 1.7 GB of data, leaving 1.3 GB unused)
That’s a savings of $13
It’ll Upset the Apple Cart
I would love to say that this third point was an intentional double entendre, but when I was making notes on this post, I originally intended to just refer to the pioneering new tech. However, in light of this added meaning, I’ll note both points under this same reason.
Project Fi is new and it’s certainly got the major cell carriers on their toes. While the new service doesn’t spell disaster for giants like AT&T and Verizon, it does force them to take a look at their current offerings. What is more, it could very well mean a new pricing model from larger carriers or even an eventual expansion for Project Fi into other carriers beyond Sprint and Verizon.
On the other side of the meaning, since Project Fi works (for now) exclusively with the Nexus 6 [UPDATE: Now available for Nexus 6P & 5X], it forces early adopters like myself to make the switch from Apple’s iOS to Android. Although the Nexus 6 is the only phone supporting Project Fi, Google would be doing themselves a disservice to not extend the service to the ridiculously popular Apple iPhone.
With that said, Apple and Google don’t have the best history of playing nicely, so there’s no telling how long it will be before we see an iPhone on Project Fi. However, Google might just see Apple as a non-issue since according to 2015 Q2 data from IDC, Android’s worldwide market share is dominating the field with a staggering 82.8%. Apple’s iOS is a far distant second at 13.9%, with Windows, Blackberry & others making up the remaining 3.3%.
Whether or not Project Fi will come to iOS or not remains to be seen, but for now, the speculation is delightful.
Switching Carriers Was Far Too Easy
The process for me personally was very easy to go from the end of my 2-year contract with AT&T to Google Project Fi service. Once you receive your invite from Google, you just fill out the single page form to begin the switch and the process pretty much just rolls on from there.
I bought my Fi-ready Nexus 6 from Google and it was shipped/delivered in less than a week. I turned it on and went from AT&T to Google Project Fi in one evening.
They’ve Already Gone Global
Google Project Fi is already working in over 120 countries worldwide. This is huge. Although your data speeds outside the US are limited to 3G, you’re still only going to pay $10/GB. You also get unlimited texting, which is really the only thing that matters, right? Who even makes phone calls anymore? WiFi calls are going to vary based on country and cell calls are going to cost you 20 cents/min. Read more about international usage.
At the end of the day
At the end of the day, Google Project Fi isn’t going to balance your checkbook for you or begin taking your dog for a walk. But, it will be part of the wave of changes that are going to revolutionize the mobile world.
Sign up today. Save your invite (it won’t expire). Be a part of the change.