Google Debuts 'Project Fi' Wireless Service in Partnership With Sprint, T-Mobile

Google today announced its entrance into the wireless service business, with the debut of Project Fi, a service that combines multiple cellular networks with Wi-Fi hotspots to offer "the best network wherever you go."

As rumored back in January, Google is teaming up with both Sprint and T-Mobile for Project Fi, and the two carriers will provide the cellular service for Google's initiative. With Project Fi service, customers will be able to connect to the fastest network at any given location, whether it's Sprint LTE, T-Mobile LTE, or a Wi-Fi hotspot.

We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it's Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we've verified as fast and reliable. Once you're connected, we help secure your data through encryption. When you're not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places.

By positioning itself as an MVNO or mobile virtual network operator partnered with existing carriers, Google is able to provide reliable cellular service and its own pricing tiers without needing to build out its own infrastructure. Other well-known MVNO's in the U.S. include Boost Mobile, FreedomPop, and Straight Talk.

Project Fi brings phone numbers to the cloud, letting users talk and text with their personal phone numbers on any phone, tablet, or computer, and it introduces a simplified pricing structure that's easier to understand than most carriers' complicated plans.

There's a single plan that costs $20 per month for talk, text, and Wi-Fi tethering, plus an extra $10 per GB for cellular data in the U.S. and abroad. So a plan with unlimited talk and text with 3GB of data would be priced at $50. Google's also only charging for data used, so customers who pay for 3GB and only use 1GB will get a refund.

Google is debuting a Project Fi early access program that's available to customers who have a Nexus 6. According to Google, this is the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software necessary to work with Project Fi. Nexus 6 users can in areas where coverage is available can request access.

Google is the first major technology company to introduce its own wireless service, and it's possible that other companies could follow in its footsteps. In the past, there were rumors suggesting Apple would take on the role of a mobile carrier, selling service directly to consumers, but in 2012, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple did not need to be a carrier and would be better off focusing its efforts on making great devices.

Top Rated Comments

DavidTheExpert Avatar
116 months ago
Not interested.

If I wanted Google to know my every movement and minute detail about my life I would still be logged into Google+ and Gmail and Youtube and every other one of their countless services and have an Android phone and store all my sensitive documents in Google Drive.

I quit on Google years ago when they screwed me over in a business matter, and I tried to follow up by contacting them only to learn that they have absolutely no customer service outlets, no way of directly contacting anyone at Google, and care so little about their users that they actively go out of their way to prevent them from expressing their concerns or dealing with their problems, and they literally crush anyone who disagrees with them.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sl4ck3r Avatar
116 months ago
They're trying to offer 'better coverage' by using Sprint and T-Mobile. Makes sense.

The word and says it all. More options in more places. Where Sprint doesnt have coverage T-Mobile may and vice versa. How is having options ever a bad thing. There is a good chance that ATT and Verizon will come on board if Google gets the user base that demands it. End of the day these carriers only care about the bottom line.

I understand this is MR and people dislike Google here, however how can you be mad at a company that continually shakes up every industry they enter. You think you would have ever seen 1GBps internet to the home if google didnt start rolling out their fiber networks? Seriously, innovation is innovation regardless of where it comes from and it looks like Google if rife with it lately.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Timeraner Avatar
116 months ago
**** Google.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
C DM Avatar
116 months ago
And now all the usual Google FUD is going to keep on coming up to put it all down just because it's anything Google-related (just as it happens with anything Facebook-related). Because other companies aren't gathering our data and haven't been doing it for ages. And because it's irrelevant what the specifics of any of this are, it's enough just to focus on the "Google" (or "Facebook" or something similar) keyword.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ninjadex Avatar
116 months ago
I don't want Google anywhere near my 'Fi. Simple as that.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CBJammin103 Avatar
116 months ago
I, for one, think this is at least mildly interesting... curious to see real-world results, but mostly I'm surprised the carriers would go for this.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Logo Spotlight

Source: Apple to Announce New Products This Week

Sunday March 3, 2024 11:38 am PST by
Apple plans to announce new products with press releases on its website this week, a proven source familiar with the matter told MacRumors. While the products that Apple plans to announce have not been disclosed, there are rumors about new iPads, Macs, and accessories. It is unclear exactly what will be announced this week. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today reiterated that Apple is planning new...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
iPad Air 12

Gurman: No Apple Event Planned for Upcoming iPads and Macs

Sunday March 3, 2024 5:09 am PST by
Apple does not plan to hold a traditional event to unveil new iPads and Macs, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Instead, he said Apple plans to announce the products on its website with a "series of online videos and marketing campaigns." If this plan is accurate, we can expect the new products to be announced with press releases on the Apple Newsroom website. Gurman expects Apple to...
Apple MacBook Air 2 up hero 240304

Apple Announces New MacBook Air Models With M3 Chip

Monday March 4, 2024 5:04 am PST by
Apple today announced new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air models with M3 chip, improved external display support, Wi-Fi 6E, and more. Apple says that the new MacBook Air is up to 60% faster than the M1 model and up to 13x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air. With a faster and more efficient Neural Engine, Apple says that the MacBook Air continues to be "the best consumer laptop for...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...