Which phones work with Google Fi

Project Fi: Google downgrades the network operator


Read on one side

Nobody should be really surprised that Google is now also selling its own mobile phone tariff. The company is always doing something with missiles, drones, or at least self-driving cars. So why not a new type of cellular network? In comparison, it sounds rather conservative. But Project Fi is by no means.

As part of the project, Google has been selling a tariff in the USA since Wednesday in which users constantly jump back and forth between different networks without even realizing it. Depending on the currently available connection quality, the service dials into the Sprint or T-Mobile US networks. And whenever possible, he takes one of around a million wireless hotspots that Google has selected across the country. In order to take part in Project Fi, you need an invitation from Google and also the Google smartphone Nexus 6. It is foreseeable that the service will also be usable with other devices in the future.

For Project Fi, users should pay twenty dollars a month. However, this only includes the costs for telephone, SMS and data traffic in the WLAN. Each gigabyte of data in the Sprint and T-Mobile networks costs another ten dollars. Users book the packages in advance. Unused data volume will be counted towards the next month. This consistency is unique in the USA. Project Fi will also allow US users to roam in more than 120 states at no extra charge. Overall, Google's Project Fi is below the price of US competitors like AT&T.



Be there live online when our podcasts are created and meet your favorite hosts at the first ZEIT ONLINE podcast festival on Sunday, June 20, 2021.

With your registration you take note of the data protection regulations.

Many Thanks! We have sent you an email.

Check your mailbox and confirm the newsletter subscription.

However, Google does not want to sell its service on the basis of price alone. Google's promise goes on: With Project Fi, users should be able to communicate more flexibly and broadly than others in the future. The more mobile the internet becomes and the more portable devices there are, the more important this becomes.

Telephone number is no longer tied to the telephone

Until now, customers had to opt for a tariff from a provider that covered telephony and mobile Internet. In the USA, however, some of the mobile data networks have considerable dead spots. The situation is similar in Germany. As the best network provider, Deutsche Telekom, for example, only has around 91 percent coverage. This value only applies to large cities. In the small town it is 86 percent, in the country it is likely to look even worse.

Google wants to avoid such "dead spots" or "white spots" with Project Fi. The company calls its concept "Network of Networks". A meta-network, so to speak, like the Internet itself. Switching between the networks should also work during a call. For example, if you leave the café with a hotspot, the phone automatically connects to the cellular network, which offers the highest connection speed. The conversation continues. The participating providers are degraded to occasional providers.

In the medium term, Project Fi will not only decouple users from a single network provider, but also from the end device. This works with the help of a Project Fi-enabled SIM card. In the future, the phone number of the user will be in the Google cloud. You can then use the number from any internet-enabled device, no longer just from the Nexus 6.