Google Fi aka Project Fi: Here’s how Google is simplifying mobile data usage
Google Fi charges users for the data they consume. After certain data usage, Google offers the mobile data for free.
Google is expanding its Project Fi service to iPhones and more Android phones across brands like Samsung, LG, Motorola and OnePlus. Google has also rebranded its Project Fi platform as Google Fi.
Google Fi, currently exclusive to select markets, aims to simplify mobile data usage with smart technologies like automatic network switching and compatible Wi-Fi networks. Highlight of the service is the "Bill Protection" which ensures users are charged for the data they use. For international roaming, Google Fi users are charged the same price as at home. Google recently expanded Google Fi coverage to 170 countries including India.
Google Fi users have the luxury to automatically move to the fastest network available whether it's 4G LTE, 3G or 2G.
"We're constantly learning and improving, to account for factors such as newly-built towers or newly-available radio frequencies. And if your current network is providing weak or no coverage, we'll adjust in real time to find you a stronger connection," Google explains on its website.
Google also connects users to open Wi-Fi networks that don't require multiple steps for logging in, like entering password or watching advertisement. The company assures it connects users to reliable and quality networks.
Pay as you go
Similar to 'pay as you go' tariff plans in India, Google Fi users have to pay $10 ( ₹700 approximately) for 1GB. The tariff plan may seem higher for Indian users as here 1GB data plans start as low as ₹50 (less than $1). Google, however, charges users as they consume data. For instance, 1.4GB data will cost $14.
The Bill Protection ensures Google Fi users are not charged more than a certain amount. The threshold depends upon the plan user has availed.
"If you use more than 15 GB of data in a cycle (less than 1% of individual Fi users as of Jan. 2018), you'll experience slower speeds above 15 GB with Bill Protection. You can opt out of slower speeds by paying for $10/GB any individual data used above 15 GB in a billing cycle," Google adds.
Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
Google is offering data services in the US through a Mobile Virtual Network Operators license. MVNOs are different from your regular telecom service providers. MVNOs don't need to own a wireless network infrastructure to provide services to their consumers. Essentially, an MVNO ties up with a telecom operator to acquire bulk access to the network and offers services at its own rates to their subscribers.
In India, mobile virtual network operators are yet to go mainstream. Last year, the Indian government issued license to nearly 70 companies to become MVNO. Some of the notable names that have MVNO license in India are Adpay and NTT Communications India Network. Adpay earlier this partnered with BSNL to launch an ultra low-cost data plan (2GB per day) for ₹79.