Google Project Fi Group Plans Shows Network May Soon Pose a Huge Threat to Prepaid Carriers

Google Project Fi

Someone might be quick to laugh off the claims that Google Project Fi network may soon be a huge threat to already established carriers in the prepaid and postpaid industry.

Of course, when looking at the current status, there is really nothing much that the Project Fi service is offering that is a threat to the likes of Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile, among other carriers. For starters, Google Project Fi is currently available through countable devices. The aging Nexus 6, last year’s Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P as well as this year’s Pixel and Pixel XL. For those who have not come across these devices, it will be hard to explain to them what Project Fi really is.

Just as a brief reminder of what Project Fi has to offer, you will be treated to unlimited calling and messaging services domestically and as long as you are in any of the supported 135 countries across the globe, you still get to enjoy same-speed data connections and unlimited texting for a fee of just $20 per month. However, you will need an extra $10 in order to get 1GB of data that comes with 4G LTE speeds.

If you do a lot of traveling abroad, this Google Project Fi service is exactly what you need. It gets even better if you don’t do a lot of internet as the 1GB allocation will definitely be enough for you, especially with the Wi-Fi Assistant in action. Wi-Fi Assistant is a Project Fi feature that allows devices to switch between mobile data and available Wi-Fi hotspots, something that helps save mobile data in cases where the Wi-Fi connection is stronger. If you happen to use less than the allocated 1GB during the one-month period, the balance will be refunded to your account.

Since Google Project Fi has only partnered with three major carriers in the U.S., the number of people using the service is still limited. Apparently, the three carriers that have been incorporated into the service include US Cellular, Sprint, and T-Mobile US, but still, these users can enjoy the services of Project Fi from 135 different countries across the globe. What happens is that Fi will scan through the available networks – cellular and Wi-Fi – and connect you to the strongest network possible. With millions of Wi-Fi hotspots that offer very stable internet connections, you should be able to save more cellular data with Project Fi.

As Google looks for ways to make Project Fi much better, the company has begun with the introduction of group plans. Here, existing account holders can add another five members to their plan and each of these additional lines will cost $5 less per month, that is, $15. This will still earn each member the same unlimited calling and messaging services. As for data, it stays at $10 per GB per line.

Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Nexus 2016

In case you didn’t know, Google Project Fi has an extra person on its plan as opposed to the likes of MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless, and Boost Mobile, where you get family plans of up to five people. Still, this doesn’t make the service a major threat to current prepaid carriers. However, it still does not mean changes won’t be coming in the distant future. What make it not a threat at this time of writing are the facts that it only works with a limited set of devices and that other carriers are also offering unlimited data in addition to unlimited calling and texting.

What gives Google Project Fi hopes is the fact that its recent introduction has moved it closer to what other established carriers are doing. Whether the service will at some point be shaken up so that it is sold alongside the newly-introduced Pixel lineup is still unknown. Like the search engine giant has strived to show the Android world how it is supposed to be done with its Nexus lineup, it seems this Google Project Fi service is just the beginning of a huge change in how carriers should be offering their services. In particular, the competition should be scared of how Google Project Fi is making it easy to manage the group plans. The idea of having the service available in more than 135 countries across the globe, metered data as well as unlimited calling and messaging are also game changing features that could help Project Fi gain an advantage over established carriers. It’s just a matter of time!

What do you think? Can Google Project Fi make a good prepaid and postpaid carrier? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

13 thoughts on “Google Project Fi Group Plans Shows Network May Soon Pose a Huge Threat to Prepaid Carriers”

  1. I love the idea of Project Fi. The success of this service totally depends on Google’s motives. If they intend to use this as a ploy to bring in potential Pixel buyers than I’m not sure this will impact the wireless network providers… However, if they bring the service mainstream to other hardware providers (including Apple) they have a shot to really shake things up.

    If I were Google, I would have the service work with other manufacturers via a 3rd party app that could be accessible through the app store. This app could do things to give the user options to defer to Google’s services (Chrome, Assistant, Maps) as default on things like iOS.

    If you are a light data user, I strongly recommend Verizon prepaid. Currently I receive unlimited call + text with 3GBs of Data for $45 a month (taxes included).

    1. It’s not that easy. The carriers participating include both GSM and CDMA; the phone has to be able to handle that, and it takes a special SIM card. Given that, I’d love to see more Fi-capable phones.

  2. It would have been if the phone prices would have stayed low. How many are willing to pay $600 to nearly $900 for a Pixel, and then be stuck with Google only phones. Google is getting greedy.

    1. My employer pays for whatever phone I want, but I have to pay for the phone plan. So it makes total sense for me to buy an expensive phone and a cheap plan. Fi fits the bill perfectly.

    2. Google phones (Nexus and Pixel) are unlocked, and can be use on any carrier. They are not “Google Only”. And Google offers a very nice financing option.

  3. I’ve been using Google Fi for a while I absolutely love it!!!! They credit what data you don’t use my bill runs $25 to 30tops ….I travel to other countries a lot and love being able to call home for free !!! Thanks Google

  4. I have been a Project Fi customer for 3 months and it is the best I’ve ever had. I dropped Verizon because it was so expensive, customer service was terrible and they couldn’t get their act together on international service. I paid $200 for a nexus 5x phone and the quality of the service has been great. Sorry I didn’t make my move sooner.

  5. I have had Google Fi with a Nexus 6p for about seven months and I am very happy with it. It works great in Mexico (where I spend much time for business and vacationing). It it incredibly easy to understand your bill. We just ordered a Nexus 5x for my wife and are putting her on the plan. We should save around $30 per month by adding her to my plan. In less than a year, we will have paid for the phone and she keeps a phone for many years. I’m a happy camper.

  6. If Google really wants to better compete. They should give $150 off the Pixel XL for current & new subscribers. Also have a large data plan discount like 5gb for $30.

  7. I joined Project Fi after a short stint with Republic Wireless. I would have stayed, but accidentally broke my phone Motorola X. As it was no longer in service, I started to look around, and Nexus 5X was $200 less than with Project Fi. I pay in average in the mid twenties.

  8. I have used Google FI on a Nexus 6 for a little over 1/2 year.
    3 months in California’s San Joaquin Valley, and 3 months travelling CA, OR, WA, IO, WY and Montana.
    Service has always been excellent.
    Never noticed any transfer from WIFI to carrier, or back.
    And it saves me money to boot.
    Highly recommend it.

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