Rumors of Google throwing their card into the hat of cellular service providers caused a lot of brow-raising for many over the past year or so. With a massive company like Google, who has already made impressive strides in various areas of the tech industry already, one could reasonably suspect that Google was planning to “stick it” to carriers. After all, that’s the message that is being conveyed through Google’s Internet service, Google Fiber.
News broke today that Google has indeed decided to contribute to the growing list of alternative cellular providers apart from the “Big Four” in the U.S., and you may or may not be surprised to learn that Google’s “Project Fi”, the official name of their new service, is actually not a carrier killer. Rather, Google manages to band two carriers “together” in one device, aims to create fair pricing for certain data users, and unifies a user’s phone number to work across multiple devices rather than just one.
Here are the highlights of Project Fi:
As you can see there are a lot of good things about Project Fi, but nothing that makes it seem like it’s leagues above every other option for every single person. The people I see benefiting most from this would be:
The price of the plan is also pretty on point on comparison to other MVNOs, so there’s not too much that’s spectacular about that. A lot of people may opt to go with another carrier based on the fact that they get more for their money ($45 for unlimited talk, text, and data for example) but run the risk of not getting their money’s worth in terms of actual usage, speed (consider throttling), or even service. It really just depends on what is most important to the user in the end.
Google’s Project Fi has interesting new solutions to offer, so it’s not “just another MVNO”. I believe that Project Fi has a lot of people that can benefit from the service, but it’s definitely not any type of carrier killer.