When Google started out as a search engine, it had a catchy name that made people smile and better-than-average results. More than a decade later, Google has become synonymous with search and one of the biggest influencers of what people find online.
Now the tech behemoth plans to shake up the wireless phone industry with its newly introduced Project Fi. According to Wired, the service is currently only available for those with the Nexus 6 phone, but could soon set the template for faster mobile online access and cheaper phone bills.
What Fi tries to do is seamlessly transfer a smartphone’s connectivity from one Wi-Fi network to a mobile carrier’s network and any combination in between, ensuring the strongest service possible for your device. According to USA Today, smartphones currently on the Fi service will go between the networks of carriers Sprint and T-Mobile, as well as Wi-Fi connections, depending on which signal is stronger at a given time and place. Using Wi-Fi networks to route calls and data is expected to lower subscribers’ mobile bills, with Google’s one price plan going for $20 a month (which includes talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering and international coverage) and $10 per gigabyte of data above that for cellular data.
Additionally, if you were to pay for extra data you don’t use, you would be refunded at the end of the month, according to TechCrunch.
As Gizmodo reports, Google will not actually be setting up cell phone towers in a city near you. Instead, Fi kind of lays over the Sprint and T-Mobile networks and, when Wi-Fi is also available, could potentially be more reliable than existing wireless services’ various reaches, as it serves as a “network of networks” that automatically makes the transition between the networks and pre-vetted public Wi-Fi.
With many consumers’ wanting to lower their monthly bill, Google’s move could be a near-future method of doing so, while also welcoming another player to the billion-dollar mobile industry.