The new Google wireless plan, Project Fi, wants to make sure cell phones always have service, with their new plan that collaborates with both Sprint and T-Mobile. Though the wireless service is currently only available on the Nexus 6 phone, if successful the plan may expand. For now, the wireless service from Google will not only move from among Wi-Fi networks and from Wi-Fi to the cellular network, it will also allow users phone’s to automatically jump from T-Mobile towers to Sprint towers, depending on which one is the strongest connection.
Google is not the first company to work towards this innovation. While companies like Karma and Apple (with their iPad Air 2 that hosts a virtual SIM card to move between carriers to determine which one a user wants) moving towards this type of wireless ability, Google’s new Project Fi may be just what everyone was looking for. Google’s program hosts what is called a multi-profile SIM card, which is a piece of hardware that allows the card to host more than one carrier.
Though only two carriers have agreed to work with Google’s Project Fi, Google is expecting more carriers to climb on board in the future, especially as they have challenged many (though, sources state that carriers who are not already on board will probably fight it). As of now, only Sprint and T-Mobile will work in the wireless company, meaning that users who have the wireless program will be able to jump between the two networks automatically, based on which tower hosts the strongest service in the area where the user is.
This move, according to sources, will eventually make brand name carriers virtually obsolete, as wireless users will no longer pay attention to which carrier they are working off of. This is exactly the reason why some carriers may fight joining Project Fi, as previously mentioned. But having more options for networks is something that many, if not all, users will enjoy. Google’s Project Fi will most likely mean that cell phones will always have service, something that will help consumers in the long run, as it makes sure they can go anywhere without the inconvenience of not being able to use their phones.
Though all carriers have been working on their wireless networks over the years, the wireless service is not perfect for any of the carriers. Many people go on vacation to remote areas, only to realize that often times they have no cell phone service. While this can be appealing for those who want to get away from technology for a moment, it is disappointing to users who thrive on being able to take their technology anywhere.
As the only current mobile virtual network operator, Google will also be providing it’s own kind of “hotspot.” Deemed Google Hangouts, the program will supposedly let users connect their phone number to a Wi-Fi network so that their phone will automatically connect to Wi-Fi when they are in range, as well as the already previous feature that allows phones to remember personal Wi-Fi networks and automatically connect. But Google even takes it one step further and allows users to chat or text anyone, on any device, who is connected to the Project Fi.
The best part about the new Google program is that all of these features will only cost users $20 per month, and $10 for each gigabyte of cellular data used. Google will also credit the account of users who do not use all of their data each month. If users purchase five gigabytes of data on their plan but only use three gigabytes of service, the company will refund a user for the extra two gigabytes.
Though Google’s new service sounds appealing to all, users of any phone except the Nexus 6 phone are currently the only customers who can get the new Project Fi wireless service, until other phones are capable of hosting the service. The Nexus 6 phone uses Android, which could open up the possibility for Android-using-phones to move into Google’s program quickly. However, until the phones adapt the so-called “new technology” that the Nexus 6 apparently has, other phones may not move into the possibility quickly.
As Google continues to innovate towards new wireless options, users are sure to see improvements in all of the availabilities that are lacking. Google’s new program is definitely appealing to users, some wireless carriers, and technology creators. It just still has a long ways to go. However, when the service is completely adapted to all that technology has to offer, Google will certainly make sure that cell phone users always have service.
By Crystal Boulware