It is now official. Google has now officially burst into the wireless industry. The search giant just announced its highly awaited wireless service in the United States. It is called Project Fi and as expected with anything introduced by Google, brings some new things into the table.
This time, it appears that Google is looking to distinguish itself from other wireless carriers by offering a new way of charging subscribers of mobile services. In the usual setting, smartphone subscribers typically pay wireless carriers a set bulk rate for a specific data allotment. But with Project Fi, Google will allow subscribers to pay only for the amount of data they used on their handsets while making voice calls, sending text messages, using mobile apps, or even listening to music-related services. By doing so, subscribers to Google's wireless service could enjoy some really significant savings with their data usage.
But wait -- Project Fi is invite only (at least, for now), and will only be made available on Google's Nexus 6 device. There is no doubt, though, that the program will be launched to more users, and when it does, it could really shake up the wireless industry.
It may appear that Google bursting into the wireless scene only happened overnight, but the company's efforts to enter into the wireless industry goes way back almost a decade ago in 2005, when the search giant acquired the still-developing (at that time) Android mobile phone software, and began to give it away to phone makers like Samsung, LG, and Lenovo. Even at that time, Google already had a penchant for going against the flow -- software companies then, such as Microsoft, normally charged for the use of their software. Google's move, of course, immensely paid -- over 80 percent of the world's mobile devices today now run on the Android mobile operating system. After making quite a splash in establishing itself in the mobile device industry, perhaps it is not too surprising that Google would turn its attention next to how wireless services are being delivered to customers.
With Project Fi, Google is offering a single plan at just one price. For only $20 per month, customers get voice, texting, Wi-Fi tethering and international coverage in over 120 countries. Then it will cost subscribers an additional $10 for each gigabyte every month. But if customers do not use up all of the data they paid for, Google will give them a refund for the unused data. Also, customers will not need to sign a yearly contract.
Apart from introducing a new way to charge subscribers, Google is also offering a new technology that will let customers switch between cellular and Wi-Fi signals while making or taking calls. Not only will this new technology allow Google to keep costs at a minimum, it will also keep subscribers from solely relying on cellular networks, which often get congested with too much wireless traffic. The program also has the ability to store customers' phone numbers on Google's servers, making it possible for people to use their number to talk or text from a smartphone, tablet, and even a laptop.
Interestingly, Google does not have its own wireless network for Project Fi. Instead, the company inked a deal with major wireless carriers T-Mobile and Sprint in order to use their existing networks.
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