Google has finally unveiled its wireless service, dubbed Project Fi, aimed at making breakthroughs in the wireless industry.
The new service, however, has a number of hurdles to face going forward if it intends to make real waves in the market.
Google is using the networks of Sprint and T-Mobile in order to serve customers. Herein lies one of the first issues with Google's new service. Because it rents access to the network, it simply won't be able to lower prices in a way that would really shake up the wireless industry. Not only that, but Google is renting from both T-Mobile and Sprint, potentially meaning that it has to raise prices even more.
Despite this, many suggest that Project Fi isn't about the pricing; it's about the model. Project Fi allows users to buy data in chunks of 1 GB. If they don't use all their data, users will be refunded for what they didn't use, and that money can be put toward next month's data. It's really a great idea. The cost, however, can quickly add up. The base plan costs $20, after which users will be charged $10 per 1 GB of data. For those who only use 1 GB or 2 GB of data, that's a great price, especially because of the fact that they will be refunded for data that they don't use.
Any more than a few GB of data, however, and that $30 or $40 can jump to $70 or $80, putting the service on par with the likes of Verizon in terms of price.
Another problem with Project Fi is clearly the number of devices that can be used with the program. In fact, currently only users of the Google Nexus 6 are able to sign up to Project Fi. Despite this, Google is sure to add more handsets to the program as it goes, but there's no word yet as to when that will be.
For any problems with Project Fi, however, there are 10 times more advantages. Project Fi offers a totally new mobile model, essentially combining two networks into one. Google has partnered with both T-Mobile and Sprint for its service, meaning that users will be on whatever network is strongest for where they are. While it's possible that this could mean a raise in prices, it also means that users will have a better signal more often.
Google is set to disrupt the industry, however, right now, its service doesn't have enough reach. Only time will tell if the company is really able to change wireless as we know it.