Google has taken the wraps off "Project Fi." The mobile service aims to compete with the likes of Verizon and AT&T.
The service currently offers only one plan at $20 per month, with each gigabyte of data costing an additional $10. Perhaps one of the most interesting aspects of the new plan is that Google will refund money for any data that isn't used.
"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," Google said in a blog post.
"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 and now you can be part of the project, too."
The program is designed to be on the cutting edge of network technology, and Google is certainly pushing the boundaries with its program. While different carriers have begun offering the ability to roll data over to the next month, no one has yet come out with a program for giving users credit toward the next month's data.
Google is offering mobile service as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), much like companies such as Virgin Mobile and Republic Wireless. What this basically means is that users will be on networks from Sprint or T-Mobile, with Google renting access from these companies.
Combining service from multiple companies is also an interesting concept. Project Fi will use whatever signal is strongest from Sprint and T-Mobile — essentially allowing a much larger network than what the companies could offer individually.
Furthermore, when users are connected to Wi-Fi they will be able to take and make calls through their Wi-Fi network. Indeed, Wi-Fi will be the preferred method of connectivity, meaning that users outside of Sprint's or T-Mobile's range will still be able to use Project Fi. Users who are traveling will also be able to make and take calls in more than 120 countries.
Project Fi is almost a fully realized and developed version of Google Voice. Users will even be able to use Hangouts to check voicemail and send text messages on any device that supports Hangouts, Google's instant messaging and video chat platform.
Google is shaking up the industry with the announcement of Project Fi. But as of now, the service is only available on Google Nexus 6. Only time will tell how other carriers respond to the new service.