Google Fi is a telecommunications service developed by Google, well that was obvious.
So Google Fi provides phone calls, SMS, and mobile internet.
It’s like a carrier, except that Google Fi is not a carrier.
That’s what Google says.
Google describes its service as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, an MVNO, which is a telecommunication
system that does not own or administrate any wireless network infrastructure, like electrical
wiring or cellphone towers.
Instead, they reach business agreements with mobile network operators to obtain bulk access
to that infrastructure at wholesale rates, then sets retail prices independently.
That industry burst in the 90s when European telecom saw market liberalization and 2G network
Google Fi has agreements with the US-based companies Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular
and the Hong Kong-based Three for the usage of their infrastructure.
The system switches between those three services depending on the signal strength and speed,
also, with the idea to save consuming data, it connects to Wi-Fi hotspots using a VPN
generated by automatic encryption system too tricky to explain it here.
But it was done in that way for your safety and happens without you noticing.
All data traffic is encrypted.
Google Fi works with a special SIM Card and software installed in your cellphone, you
need to have an unlocked phone and sign up into Google Fi online, then Google will send
you the SIM card to put into your smartphone, and tadaaaa!
You’re a Google Fi user now.
The service works in more than 170 countries without any change in the service.
But the speed depends on the territory you're in and the roaming partners of that service.
The service also has Rich Communication System; it’s an improved SMS version that supports
high-quality photos, video calls, geolocation info, file transfer, group chats, and more.
It’s like Google’s version of Whatsapp, although the RCS was developed by other people
and is not a third-party app.
With Google Fi, you can make calls and send messages from any device using Google Hangouts.
Also, you can forward calls from your Fi number to any phone number you want, as well as voicemails.
During its beta version, the system had the name of Project Fi, and it was launched for
the Nexus 6, by invitation only in 2015.
Then in 2016 Google expanded the system to more smartphones and opened it to the public.
In November 2018, Google rebranded as Google Fi, and added support to more smartphones,
But in case you want a first-class experience, you can take these HTC/LG models which were
designed for the service and brought an electronic SIM pre-programmed for Google Fi, so you won’t
need to get the physical SIM, leaving the SIM slot of your cellphone free.
Google Fi works with a monthly flat-fee based plan, which you pay $20 at the beginning of
every month with unlimited calls and messaging, and customizable data allowance costing $10
per 1 GB.
The money of unused data is credited back to your account (not sure).
Each additional gigabyte for data costs $10.
Outside the US, phone calls cost $0.20 per minute.
If you reach the 6GB data cap, which costs $60, then you don’t pay anything more, regardless
of how much data you use.
This is called Billed Protection: an unlimited tier plan for Google Fi where you continue
getting data service and never pay more than $80 ($60 + $20).
If you go over 15GB in a month, however, then your speed is slowed to 256kbps, I mean, nothing.
Google Fi also has the Group Plan, where six people can share the same account and billing
source, and it has the same features of the individual plan.
Each account has a manager who can add members per $15 each.
The group names a manager who can handle the billing and limit the use of any member, add
monthly allowances and buy more data.
Group Plan features the Group Repay method, which Google Fi calculates each of the members'
shares of the bill and the features they used, then the group can decide if they want to
share the payment and how they will do it.
Google Fi has gotten positive reviews in the last weeks.
Some people have complained about the plane-price not being fully convenient if you’re away
from WiFi networks most of the day; and the fact that is not supported by ALL smartphones
in the market.
If you’re considering buying Google Fi while living outside the US, we’ve linked a great
video review on the descriptions.
We would also like to know how much access they will have to our personal info and how
they will use it.
Google Fi and the arrival of the MVNO into the big internet companies could be a game-changer
for the telecommunications industry.
If you’re considering switching to Google Fi, let us know in the comments.
Also let us know if you have any questions, we’ll be happy answer.
And don’t forget to subscribe, please, it is important for us.
That’s it for today.