Ever since last month when Google officially took the wraps of the once-secret MVNO, now known as Project Fi, that would work to connect Nexus 6 owners to their online world and communications using a mix of Wi-Fi and LTE signals, people have been eagerly awaiting the email that invited them to order a SIM kit for the service. On the day that Project Fi was announced and the page went live to request an invite for the early phases of the service and its rollout, not much has been heard about Fi, except some additional support pages. And sadly, as with Google’s invite-only services, the wait has been and looks to be long. And we might now know about how long, too, thanks to an automated email sent out to all those that requested an invite.
Google’s invite systems make sense, especially when a service is new, possibly very buggy, and also possibly not ready for the stress that millions of users would put it under. We saw the same rolling invite system on Google’s email service, Inbox, last year, and that took ages, it seemed, to get a lot of traction among users. Now, according to the aforementioned email, eager would-be participants have a frame of late summer to expect the invitations to begin rolling out again.
It’s ‘again’ not ‘initially’, because it seems that the first batch of invites have been sent out in the last week or so, and Fi SIM kits have likely been ordered. According to the email, the “initial feedback has been very positive”, so Fi is likely going well, but, as with many things, rolling out something large like this will take time, and the email, and thus Google, estimates that it will take until mid-summer to get the bulk of the invitations sent out to us eager will-be Fi customers.
Now, it’s not surprising that the process will take that long, simply because a lot of, if not a majority of, Android users looking to go full-Google with or by getting a Nexus 6, the only device currently compatible with the wireless service, signed up and there’s a backlog among backlogs of invites to roll through. And as the Project Fi Team notes in the email, a way to check the status of your invite will be coming in the near future, which is good news given some Android users’ experience with invite systems in recent history.