In my past life I worked for a major cell phone provider in Canada and I am acutely aware of the high costs of cell service in Canada and the vast expense of having a Canadian phone whilst traveling. Thankfully Google have been playing in the cell phone provider business for a couple of years with Project Fi. I think the goal of the project is to test various carrier features in a controlled environment.
What is Project Fi?
Fi is Google’s virtual cell phone company (MVNO). Google uses T-Mobile, US Cellular and Sprint to provide coverage in the US and mostly T-Mobile’s roaming partners when roaming abroad.
Fi offers very simple pricing – $20 per month for the first phone, $15 for up to 5 more phones, $10 per GB for data anywhere in the world. In the US, calls to the US and Canada are free, when roaming they are 20 cents per minute over the cell network. Calls over Wi-Fi are treated as if they are originating in the US. International rates are very reasonable – 1 cent to the UK, 23 cents for the Caribbean. SMS is always free. You prepay for a set amount of data, in our case 4 GB, but if you don’t use the set amount they refund the difference at the end of the month so you only pay for what you use.