Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Google's Project Fi is Good but Not So Good.

Recently Google opened Google Fi to general public. Just like any other Wireless service provider Google also released a simple plan and the plan is attractive too.

Why Google project Fi:

I ordered it yesterday. I was paying around $58 ($50 + taxes) to T-Mobile last year with my owned mobile device (Nexus 4). MY usage of Mobile data is around 100-200MB. I never make use of 2 GB 4G allotment but pay for it each month.

While Project Fi might cost me $40 per month with Nexus 5X 32 GB financed though Google at monthly instalment of $10.38 for 24 months.

Fi Basics Monthly Charge: $20
Data Monthly Charge: $2 (Based on usage of 100-200MB)
Device Financing Monthly Instalments: $10.38
Taxes: ~$7
Total: ~$29

After 24 moths my monthly bill should go to ~ $29 per month. My mobile data needs is low to nil. Its like 50% saving for me.

Some key Points of Google Fi Project:

Google named Unlimited Talk and Text plan to Fi Basics and Google charges $20 per month for Fi Basics. Its a good price if we compare it to other wireless carriers such in USA.

Talk & Text:

But remember that these very less people use texting (classic SMS, MMS etc) instead users are using more and more internet based texting apps such as WhatsApp, Hangout, Skype etc. Unlimited text is not much of use here. Effectively users are paying $20 for Unlimited Talk.

Mobile Data:

Now comes the Mobile Data part. Data plan costs $10 per GB no matter how much we use. Project Fi credit back 1¢ per MB for unused data or charges 1¢ per MB for over usage of allocated data. In simple terms cost of each MB is 1¢. It seems very less but the worth of MB is decreasing with time. Applications are getting more data hungry. A system update (~700 MB) over mobile data can result in $7 charge. Go back to WiFi for data hungry tasks.

How much Project Fi worth:

Project Fi mobile Data portion is too expensive. In an era of fiber optics, where data transfers with the speed of light, $10 per GB is too much. Mobile data should cost around $1 or 1¢ per GB.

With Project Fi users can tethering or create a Wi-Fi hotspot easily. Assume a user install some system updates and watched some youtube video than it can result in usage of few hundred MB to around  1 GB of usage or even more. Be careful each tethering session can easily result in $10 bill. Tethering is a good option which stands at the end of all available options. As more and more users are adopting Cloud Computing data needs are increasing with time.

International Roaming 120+ Countries:

Google Project Fi international roaming is also not attractive but good for emergency. Project Fi keeps the same rate of $10 per GB for Mobile Data. But in the some other parts of world 1 GB costs around $1-$1.5 per GB. Its still better to buy local sim card while travelling internationally.

Google Project Fi says it connect to publicly available WiFi hotspot but it does not say anything about inflight WiFi hotspot. It would be great if Project Fi subscribers get free inflight Wifi data access too.


Google Project Fi uses hybrid network made up of networks of T-Mobile and Sprint. So one can expect to get better coverage. That's a great benefit.

Mobile Device Support:

At present only 2-3 devices are supported and Google offer them to purchase at discounted price or device financing, paying monthly instalments at 0% while signing up for Project Fi. Two of them are Google Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Check link for current supported devices.


Google Project Fi plan can save money if their Mobile Data requirements are low to none. Otherwise its better to stick with regular Wireless career plans such as T-Mobile which offers unlimited mobile data with 2 GB of 4G data.

At the end Google Fi project FI is good for who can save much money on their Mobile phone bills but does not depend on Mobile Data from wireless career. If a customer uses much Mobile Data than final bill amount can easily go out of budget.

There are other low cost phone services available in US market now. Lycamobile $19 or $23 plan, FreedomPOP provides free services. I moved to Lycamobile ultimately as it provides free international calls with a plan and a spare FreedomPOP free line for guests.

Porting Guide to Project Fi: