A logo is pictured at Google's European Engineering Center in Zurich April16, 2015. Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

Google, the backbone of today's digital lives, has ventured into the mobile wireless service industry with Project Fi. In April, the search giant announced the wireless service in the United States. Project Fi offers its subscribers the ability to make phone calls, send text messages and surf the Web on their Google Nexus 6 smartphones. It deviates from most of the mobile service providers by making Wi-Fi the default communication method for voice and data.

The Fundamentals of Fi

Project Fi chiefly defaults to local Wi-Fi networks for voice and data communications. It is similar to the connections generally people set up at home or connect to at a public place. Project Fi has collaborated with US carriers Sprint and T-Mobile to use their network. Thus, if Wi-Fi coverage is not available or too weak, it smoothly switches between Sprint and T-Mobile’s cellular and data networks. Switching networks would not cause any call drops or interruptions. The user will not have to take any action to switch over to another network. Project Fi will automatically connect users to the faster and more reliable network of the two, reports CNET.

The Essentials of Fi

  • Users willing to avail the wireless service need to ensure two things: Possess a Nexus 6 phone and request an invite using a Gmail address.

  • The multiple carrier supported unique Project Fi SIM card works with only Google Nexus 6 manufactured by Motorola.

  • The specialised radio placed inside the Nexus 6 phones support multiple cell networks.

  • Once the invite is received, the user will be linked to the sign-in website to feed the ZIP code.

  • One can transfer the current number, or get a new number. To get a new number, Google will provide options for local area codes based on the users’ ZIP code.

  • The same number will be live on the cloud as the Google Voice number from which the user can make phone calls from other devices as well.

The Cost per month for Fi

The minimum monthly rate for Project Fi is $20 plus taxes and fees which include Wi-Fi-tethering, unlimited calls and messaging in the US and unlimited international texting in the United States and 120 odd countries. Data connection will cost an additional $10 per month for 1GB of data. If the user does not end up using all the data, Google will refund the amount in the next bill. The service won’t require an annual contract, reports Business Spectator.

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