Google Project Fi is a little-known mobile service that has been growing its user base gradually over the past one year. Like many other carriers you probably don’t know of, Project Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
An MVNO is a mobile service provider that doesn’t operate on its own infrastructure, instead, it uses already established networks to provide their services. As for Google Project Fi, the service uses T-Mobile, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular in the U.S. while those in the UK can get it through Three network.
Using Google Project Fi, you can automatically switch between the three networks depending on which one is offering the best signal strength and data speeds as per your location. If none of these networks is offering better connections than any public Wi-Fi hotspot near you, Project Fi will connect to the internet using this hotspot. The company promises secure connections thanks to its own VPN that automatically encrypts your communication over these public Wi-Fi hotspots.
In terms of charges, Google Project Fi has a basic plan of $30. This includes $20 for unlimited calls and SMS while the $10 is meant for 1GB of data. The latter part is flexible, which is a major selling point for this carrier. In case of using less than 1GB of data in a month, Google will refund you back the balance. If you use more than this allocation, you will also be charged the extra data at $0.01/MB.
Just recently, Google added group plans to Project Fi. This allows up to six people in a group, meaning that you can have your entire family or friends under the same account for a discounted fee. Unlike the first line that attracts a fee of $30 per month for the base package, the additional five in the group are charged $25/month per line.
If you travel a lot, Google Project Fi will still be at your service in more than 135 countries across the globe. Here, you can keep on enjoying the usual unlimited SMS as well as data services. However, calls are no longer free, instead, there is a flat rate of $0.20 per minute, which is still not bad. You can still make use of Wi-Fi hotspots in these regions to make calls over the internet. The carrier has a Project Fi app that makes the management of every plan a no-brainer.
As you can see, Google Project Fi has lots of goodies, but as you may know, all good things have their bad side, at least. One major downside of Project Fi is the fact that it works on a limited set of Google devices. These include Google Pixel and Pixel XL, Google Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X as well as the Motorola Nexus 6. If you really need to use a Google Project Fi SIM card on a non-Google device, your best bet is going for the data-only SIM, which as the name suggests, is only meant for data services.
The idea of having a data-only SIM card that can work on devices other than Google Nexus or Pixel phones could be the first step towards having more devices supported on the network. As for now, this data-only SIM card must be connected to the main Google Project Fi SIM card since it uses the data purchased on the latter. Whether or not Google will at some point consider adding support for devices from Samsung, Apple, Motorola, Huawei, and basically any other OEM to this carrier is still a mystery. But the fact that the carrier is already doing great in terms of international coverage might play a huge part in influencing this decision.
It would be a welcome idea if Google Project Fi was able to work on more than the current set of Google devices. Do you agree? Share your thoughts with us via the comments.