Google to Launch Revolutionary Cell Service with Free International Data & More

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google cell phone service

A New Cell Phone Player & What That Means

I switched to T-Mobile last year because they were the first to launch free international data. To be honest I have been meaning to write a review for the longest time, because I have used it in about a dozen counties and everything has worked flawlessly.

Just a few weeks ago Sprint also decided to launch free international data (limited though), but it is only half of the speed of T-Mobile’s which is already slow. Now a third player is coming into the mix and they are not only giving free international data, their hybrid service looks to be spectacular.

Google’s Project Fi

google cell phone service

Today Google announced their new Project Fi cell phone service. Here is how it works. Each phone pays $20 a month for the Fi Basics service. This service comes with:

  • Unlimited domestic talk and text
  • Unlimited international texts
  • Low-cost international calls
  • Wi-Fi tethering
  • Coverage in 120+ countries

Then you add in your data. Google is going to charge $10 per GB of data used. So if you use 3GB of data in a month, you would pay $30 plus the $20 basic fee. Sounds pretty great right? But wait there’s more.

What if you don’t use all of your data? Here is what Google says:

[quote_center]It’s hard to predict your data usage when it changes month to month. One month you’re streaming live sports, the next you’re mostly just checking email. At the end of each month, you’ll get your unused data credited in dollars and cents, so you only pay for what you use.[/quote_center]

So if you don’t use all of your data, they will refund you $1 per 100 MB unused. Here is a monthly price example on Google’s site:

  • Current data plan 2GB: $20
  • The Fi Basics: $20
  • Monthly Plan Cost: $40
  • Credit for .8 GB Unused Data: $8
  • Total actual cost: $32

How Will International Data Work?

[quote_center]In 120+ countries, data usage costs the same $10 per GB as it does in the US (data speed is limited to 256kbps/3G). Check email, get directions, and keep in touch with friends and family when on your trip. Also, call around the world for 20c per minute and send unlimited international texts.[/quote_center]

So basically international data comes from your paid allotment which is fine. The big thing here is that it is twice the speed that T-Mobile gives you and 4x the speed of Sprint.

U.S. Network

google cell phone service

In the United States Project Fi is partnering with both Sprint and T-Mobile. This means that they have coverage in just about every area of the country. Additionally, your phone can use WiFi for a better quality signal.

Things You Should Know

Project Fi is currently available by invite only. You can request an invite here. Also, Project Fi is only working with Google’s Nexus 6 smartphone as of this time. You can purchase one when signing up.

If you have another question I haven’t answered, chances are it is answered in the very detailed FAQ.

google cell phone service

Analysis

I am really excited about this. Having decent international service along with service at home that is based on data usage is big for me. I personally use about 2.5GB of data a month, but my wife and son use no more than 1GB each.

Right now we pay $100 a month, so this wouldn’t be a big difference money wise, but the double speed on international data plus cheaper international calls would make a difference for me.

Conclusion

Hopefully they will open up this service to other phones relatively soon, because the Nexus 6 is pricey and I am happy with my current phone. I can’t wait to see how this evolves and if it puts pressure on AT&T and Verizon to add some sort of complimentary international data package to their plans.


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9 COMMENTS

  1. Overprice, didn’t Amazon blow it with their prior phones. Although Apple has a knack for receiving a premium price for it iPhone line. Now I’m surprise that a second Sim slot isn’t part of the Nexus 6. Given that soon decent and cheap cellphones, aka Blu, made soon arrive from China and India, why pay to impress your friends.

    Since this is the first I read about Android 5.0 Lollipop, I looked for info. Seems like it has bugs and a few locked up $700 phones will not help Google.

    • This is actually a Google phone. Very high-end and very well made. Lollipop is the newest version of Android and is very good. I am running it on my phone now. As with any new version of the operating system there were issues, but they seem to have all been worked out.

      Since the Nexus line is Google’s flagship line, these devices are supported directly by Google and are the first to receive updates. I agree that $649 is a lot for a phone. I do think this service has a lot of potential and believe they will eventually open it up to other phones.

      Thanks Kevin!

      • Agree it’s a great phone but would have liked to see it priced under the new Moto X — so around $500. Still, looks like this is going to be well worth it. Does anyone have the actual Project Fi service? How is it?

  2. This new service is really fantastic. It jumps from wifi to TMO or Sprint, whichever has better signals — my take is that this is better than just having a verizon or AT&T service. The international data is the killer functionality. I am holding back only because right now you need Nexus 6, which is pretty expensive for an unlocked phone.

  3. I used a lot of data when I was out the country. I can watch my cable via Sling, control home entertainment system, browsing web or watch series movies. So the Google 2GB is nothing and I rather stick with Tmobile.

    • That is one good distinction. The T-Mobile data used when out of the country is not really part of your domestic data plan like with Google. I do have one question though. How in the world did you get Sling to work on such a slow internet connection?

      I used T-Mobile in 12 countries this past year and it works for email and very basic web browsing, but it is slow.

      • It works out for me not so bad. I watched my TV via Sling box, and the video sometime paused to be buffered but not a big deal. Can live with it 🙂 Google Fi would be great if the data package goes cheaper but the unlimited, like offering from T-Mobile, is the best so far.

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