Google's highly rumored wireless program is a reality as the search giant today unveiled Project Fi, in cooperation with Sprint and T-Mobile. Similar to Google's Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables Google to work in with carriers, hardware makers, and owners of Nexus phones to offer new ways for people to connect and communicate. Sprint and T-Mobile are partnering with Google to launch Project Fi.
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. Google 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 the available LTE networks (Sprint or T-Mobile). As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots Google has verified as reliable. Once you're connected, Google will encrypt your data. When you're not on Wi-Fi, the system will move you between whichever of the available networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places.
Wherever you're connected to Wi-Fi, you can talk and text like you normally do. If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks without any interuptions. With Project Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop.
Google is offering a single plan at one price with 24/7 support. Here's how it works: for $20 a month you get all the basics (talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries), and then it's a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on. Since it's hard to predict your data usage, you'll get credit for the full value of your unused data. 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.
Google is beginning Project Fi's Early Access Program to invite people to sign up for the service. Project Fi will be available on the Nexus 6, which Google developed with Motorola and is the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software to work with the new service. If you live where Google has coverage in the U.S., request an invite at fi.google.com to get started.