BROADBAND BREAKFAST INSIGHT: Last week Google announced three new phones on its Project Fi network. Which raises the question (particularly for those iPhone users blocked out of the project) about what on earth is Project Fi, and how does it work? In sum, it's Google's version of a virtual mobile network stitching together elements of 2G, 3G, 4G LTE coverage, plus Wi-Fi. This primer from earlier this year lays the project out well.
What is Project Fi, how does it work, and why do I want it? Google's own carrier offering definitely has appealing features, from AndroidCentral
If you're an Android enthusiast, you likely know about Project Fi. But that doesn't mean you necessarily know everything about it. And for everyone out there who doesn't have one of the handful of phones that work with the carrier are unlikely to have looked into Project Fi deeply. So we're here to give you the high-level view at the carrier option that comes directly from Google. Namely, just what the heck it is, how it works compared to other carriers and maybe a few reasons why you'd want to try it.
What is Project Fi?
At the highest level, Project Fi is a phone carrier operated by Google. It works by giving you mobile data service on three mobile networks, which your phone will intelligently switch between — it also uses Wi-Fi to make calls and send texts whenever available. Project Fi is a "prepaid" carrier, meaning you pay upfront for your service in the trailing month, which is the opposite of a traditional carrier (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) that bills you after you use the service.
It's all about simplified billing with no hidden fees or overages.
Project Fi is focused on simplified billing. You pay $20 per month for unlimited talk and texting, and a flat rate of $10 per gigabyte of data used. At the start of each month you simply estimate how much data you'll use (by the gigabyte) and pay for that amount — at the end of the month you'll receive either a refund for data you didn't use, or pay a little extra on the next bill for data overages. You'll always pay at the same $10 per gigabyte rate either way. Bill Protection applies to international data usage the same as home usage.