Google has announced plans to run a mobile phone network in the US.
In its trial period, ‘project Fi’ will only be offered to Nexus 6 handset owners, as the firm will rent voice and data capacity from two existing rivals, T-Mobile and Sprint. They will also be using existing wi-fi spots rather than creating a new infrastructure from scratch. The move is being described as a low risk way to enter a new market.
The new venture is causing a stir in the telecoms market, as ‘Google Fiber’ the firms broadband service has already been a disruptive force in the industry.
Chief of Google’s Android platform, Sundar Pichai, first mentioned that the company had plans to create a mobile network last February, but little information was divulged. Google has now revealed that subscribers will automatically switch between 4G signals provided by partners Sprint and T-Mobile and they will be able to make calls over Wi-Fi without any applications. This is similar to the Wi-Fi calling facility introduced by EE throughout the United Kingdom.
“Project Fi aims to put you on the best network wherever you go. As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network. We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it’s Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks. As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable.” Said Google in its latest blog.
A new pricing structure sees customers only paying for the facilities that they use, like a Software as a Service solution. “Let’s say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You’ll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.”