Project Fi, the low-cost wireless service offered by Google, has added an unlimited data plan similar to those offered by carriers AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile.
Google unveiled Project Fi in April 2015 as a flexible option for users who wanted to only pay for the data that they consume. However, Project Fi was not a good option for heavy data users, who instead looked toward the unlimited data plans that the traditional carriers started offering.
Google Project Fi Unlimited Data Plan, Plus The Catch
Project Fi initially offered only one type of plan at $20 per month, with a $10 charge for every 1 GB of data used by the customer. It was great for customers who do not use much data, but for those who stream a lot of videos, for example, the $10 charges painfully accumulate.
Through a Google Blog post, the company announced Bill Protection for Project Fi. The new feature, according to Google, combines the simplicity of the current Project Fi plan with the flexibility of unlimited data plans.
With Bill Protection, the data charge is capped at $60, no matter how much data the customer uses. Combined with the $20 base charge, this means that Project Fi users now have access to an unlimited data plan for $80.
The data charge cap and the maximum amount that customers will pay varies for Project Fi group plans. For example, for two users, the maximum charge per month is set at $135, including the base charge and the unlimited data. For three users, the amount is $170, and for four users, it is $205. Google released a nifty calculator to help customers study how they are affected by Bill Protection.
There is a catch with the unlimited data plan though, which is actually similar to what other carriers do. Once a user reaches 15 GB of data in a month, their data speed will be throttled to a measly 256 kbps, which is only good for basic online services. Google, however, noted that less than 1 percent of Project Fi users consume that much data. Users who would like to access unthrottled speeds beyond 15 GB will have to pay the regular $10 charge per 1 GB consumed.
Google Project Fi vs Other Carriers
One advantage that the Project Fi plan has over other carriers is that individual users may find themselves paying less than $80. While carriers set their unlimited data plans at a certain cost no matter the usage, Project Fi customers only still pay for the data that they consume if they do not reach the data charge cap.