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Everything about Google Project Fi: The Wireless Service Of The Future

In today's mobile world, fast and reliable connectivity is almost second nature. But even in places like the India, where mobile connections are nearly ubiquitous, there are still times when you turn to your phone for that split-second answer and don't have fast enough speed. Or you can't get calls and texts because you left your phone in a taxi (or it got lost in a couch cushion for the day). As mobile devices continually improve how you connect to people and information, it's important that wireless connectivity and communication keep pace and be fast everywhere, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.

If you're an Android enthusiast, you've likely already heard of Project Fi. But that doesn't mean you necessarily know everything about it, so we're here to give you the high-level look at the carrier option that comes directly from Google. Namely, just what the heck it is, how it works compared to other carriers and maybe a few reasons why you'd want to try it. If you're interested in checking out phone service from Google, be sure to follow along with some of the high points below and get acquainted with Project Fi.

Google introduced Project Fi, a program to explore this opportunity by introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience. Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what's possible. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. 
Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S. - Sprint and T-Mobile are partnering with us to launch Project Fi.

What is Project Fi?

At the highest level, Project Fi is a phone carrier offering from Google. It works by giving you mobile data service on three mobile networks, which your phone will intelligently switch between - it also uses Wi-Fi to make calls and send texts whenever available. Project Fi is a "prepaid" carrier, meaning you pay upfront for your service in the trailing month, which is the opposite of a traditional carrier (Verizon, AT&T, etc.) that bills you after you use the service. Project Fi is focused on simplified billing. You pay per month for unlimited talk and texting, and a flat rate of cost per gigabyte of data used. At the start of each month you simply estimate how much data you'll use and pay for that amount - at the end of the month you'll receive either a refund for data you didn't use, or pay a little extra on the next bill for data overages. You'll always pay at the same rate per gigabyte rate, though, no matter what.
Project Fi: A new way to say hello
You can also set up a "Group Plan" on Project Fi for up to six people to share a single account and billing source. With a Group Plan, all of the same features of an individual plan apply, but you save a bit of money per person. Billing is handled centrally by the account administrator, along with data limitations for each user (if needed). Project Fi automatically manages how much each member owes to the group plan monthly and facilitates payments back to the account admin. Individuals can come and go from a Group Plan as they wish, without any contract.

Project Fi is currently available for some mobile companies only!
Project Fi is all about simplified billing with no hidden fees or overages.

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How does it work?

Project Fi works with a special SIM card - and a little software on your phone - that can authenticate you on your mobile network, and switch between them on the fly based on a variety of factors. Because it can also use Wi-Fi for calls and texts, you can keep using your phone in places where mobile data isn't that great. Extra software called a "Wi-Fi Assistant" will automatically connect your phone to open Wi-Fi access points when you're out of the house, reducing your data usage without any intervention on your part. When you use Project Fi, you also get some of the same features that have made Google Voice popular over the years. You can forward phone calls to your Fi number to any phone you want, as well as view voicemail, make calls and send texts with that number from any device using the Hangouts app and website.

Project Fi : Working Explained

Project Fi also works internationally in 120 countries around the world with no additional cost for data use or texting. You can call at a flat rate to any number while on the cellular networks abroad, or pay much lower rates when calling on Wi-Fi. You can also call back home to the U.S. on Wi-Fi for free. Data used internationally just comes out of your standard rate per gigabyte bucket, but speeds can vary depending on the country you're in.

Summary of Benefits on using Project Fi

  • Good price
  • Get reimbursed for data you don't use
  • Works in 135+ countries, free phone calls within the U.S., free SMS anywhere
  • You can pause and unpause the service instantly from their website
  • Free data-only SIM cards if you have multiple devices or just use them as backups
  • Technical Underpinnings of Google Project Fi
  • Multi cellular network support

Google likely signed roaming agreements with Sprint and T-Mobile, and the SIM selects the best network to connect based on the quality of the networks available. This model is quite scalable, as adding new cellular networks to the Google MVNO network pool is just a question of signing business agreement with different operators.

Single mobile number

Irrespective of which network the phone is connected to, there would be one number assigned to a user through Google Voice. The phone would use Google Calling App as the default application to place and receive voice calls.
With Project Fi, you get the power of three mobile networks, plus Wi-Fi, in a single SIM

Network selection:

The phone requires some intelligence in its software to measure the quality of each network (multi cellular networks & Wi-Fi), and use the better one for data and voice. It also needs to continuously monitor the quality of current connection, so when it degrades, the phone’s software automatically switches to an alternate network. The client software could also potentially choose to use different networks for voice and data.

Data roaming between networks

Data roaming between the cellular networks, or from cellular to Wi-Fi is not a problem. Most streaming applications like YouTube, Netflix have intelligence in the client side (buffering and HTTP based streaming) to seamlessly stream data even if they roam between networks and the IP address changes. Users would hardly notice any impact on non-streaming applications like web browsing because of roaming.

Voice roaming between networks

For seamless roaming to work across multiple networks, there needs to be one aggregation point for all the voice traffic. In this case, the Google Voice infrastructure could be that single aggregation point. The phone creates a secure Layer-2 tunnel to the Google Voice Infrastructure, over any existing network connection be it cellular or Wi-Fi. The secure Layer-2 tunnel is always on, and since the tunnel terminates at a single aggregation point, the phone can retain a single IP address through the tunnel. The layer-2 nature of the tunnel also ensures the carrier has visibility to the device’s MAC address. As the phone roams from one network to another, the Layer-2 secure tunnel gets re-established through the new network connection and the phone retains same tunnel IP. The voice is always routed through the tunnel to the Google Voice infrastructure and this way has a single point of exit and entry.
Simplicity in the service and billing are paramount to the experience.

Why do I want Project Fi?

Well, this is really a personal question of whether you actually want to try Project Fi. Chances are if you're at least one step closer to being the target audience for the Google-powered carrier, but there are a few other boxes to check that make it the right choice for you. The only big issue for most people is the limited phone choices. Google lets you use its latest phones on Project Fi. But that's it. But if you're okay with that limitation, you don't have many other hurdles to jump over. You can sign up for Project Fi online in minutes, and you can either buy a Pixel phone or Google will send you a SIM card to put in your existing Pixel or Nexus. Once it arrives, you can start the typical porting process of bringing your current phone number to Fi, or can start fresh with a new number. You can use Project Fi for as long or short as you want, as there aren't any contracts or commitments involved.

There are lots of cool features that make Project Fi a good choice, like the simplified billing, included international features and improved network coverage through the use of three carriers and Wi-Fi networks. Each one will have a different amount of draw for different people, though. Project Fi's pricing isn't dramatically lower than other carriers out there, and whether it makes a good choice financially for you depends on your data usage and which features you want. We encourage you to do your pricing research before choosing which carrier is the best.
 And since now Google has joined with Xiaomi to bring out theAndroid One project with the introduction of Mi A1, there might be a chance of bringing the Project Fi to Xiaomi devices very soon,
Let's hope that would come true in near future. So what do you guys think about Project Fi? A useful mobile carrier by Google? Will it be a success? Do REPLY down your opinions and suggestions below.

Currently, Project Fi is on experimental rounds in India, it may start rolling out soon!

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