Should Google Project Fi add a data cap to avoid instances of overages?

Google Project Fi

Google Project Fi is no longer a new term for many Android enthusiasts out there. While it’s true Project Fi is one of the best MNVOs on the market, this is not a statement shared by everyone.

There is a good number of people who have tried Google Project Fi and left while there are others who have never thought of leaving since day one. This should already tell you something about Fi – that it is not a service meant to be enjoyed by every smartphone user.

For starters, you must be using any of Google’s Nexus or Pixel phones from 2015 and later or the newly added Moto X4 Android One phone. This effectively limits not only the number of people who are aware of Google Project Fi, but also those who can join the platform. Unless you are willing to join the party via any of these Google phones, Fi is not for you.

Another thing about Fi not being for everyone is that for you to make the most out of the service, you must be the type that doesn’t consume huge amounts of data, travelling overseas on a regular basis is your habit, and most of your time is spent in areas with free Wi-Fi hotspots. If none of these prerequisites applies to your case, well, you’d be better off without Project Fi.

One major reason people who join Google Project Fi end up leaving is the aspect of data. As noted, you cannot survive on Fi if you are a heavy data user. It gets even worse if you use lots of data yet Wi-Fi hotspots in your life are limited or close to non-existent. For those who travel overseas regularly, Fi can be the best thing that ever happened to you thanks to the fact that the service still works in more than 135 countries across the globe, which means you won’t need to purchase a local SIM card in each of the countries you visit.

Now, on the aspect of data, there have been calls that Google introduces an unlimited data plan to match what other carriers offer, but this might not happen anytime soon. But what if Google Project Fi got something else – something like the data caps we see on the many “unlimited” plans offered by the likes of T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and AT&T?

It’s true smartphones come with a pre-loaded data saver feature that allows users to cap data at certain limits. However, if you happen to forget to cap your data usage, it’s easy to find yourself in instances of overages and with Fi, this can be a nightmare. As you know, Fi charges $10 per GB of data. In case you forget to cap your phone’s data usage, you may end up paying up to three digits or even more in monthly bills.

Unlike other carriers where hitting a certain amount of data in a month automatically throttles the speeds for the remaining period, there is no such thing on Google Project Fi. This means that speeds will remain the same throughout the month, which is good, but not for unchecked cellular data usage. So, rather than depend on the phone’s ability to limit data usage, a feature that only works with Android Nougat and above (technically, all Project Fi-compatible phones have Android Nougat and above installed, but it’s possible some may still be using older software on their devices such as Nexus 6, Nexus 6P or Nexus 5X), it would be a great move if Fi came with an in-built ability to cap data usage so as to avoid any cases of overages, which can be painful to settle.

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