Google is such a well-known company that its mere name has become a verb. The provider of the most popular search engine, email, and online maps services has recently added cell phone carrier to its long list of features, and it’s creating a lot of buzz.
The cell phone service, known as Project Fi, was initially announced in 2015, but much like the initial stages of Google+ it was by invite only. Google has now announced that they’re extending the service to everyone.
You may be thinking “how can google provide cell phone signal without owning any cell phone towers?” and the answer is simple. Google will piggyback its signal off of towers owned by T-Mobile and Sprint, but will also utilize public wifi to boost calls and downloads. So, rather than solely relying on proprietary cell phone towers like some of the major wireless carriers or solely relying on wifi like many of the popular apps like Viber, Google is giving Project Fi users the best of both worlds with first of its kind coverage.
But the perks don’t stop there. Project Fi plans cost $20 for unlimited talk and text, and you only pay for the data you use. Google also offers a data-only plan for those that never use the actual call or text components of their phone. The data service charges $10 per gigabyte, so if you only use 1.5 gigabytes in one billing cycle, you would only pay $15.
The service is also supported in over 120 countries, meaning that those who travel regularly would no longer have to be mindful of the hassles and charges associated with international cell phone use.
Sound too good to be true? Well it isn’t, but there is a catch. Project Fi is only available on three smartphones: the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, and Nexus 6P. This is because these three phones are equipped to receive signals from multiple providers, a function that needs to exist for Project Fi to function correctly. So unfortunately, iPhone, Windows phone, and most Android users will have to wait until Google decides to expand the project.