A few months ago, Google announced Project Fi. This is their attempt at becoming a wireless carrier, although it’s not exactly what everyone had hoped it would be. Basically it’s a hybrid MVNO. Now a MVNO is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator. Basically the pay one of the four major carriers (T-Mobile, AT&T, Sprint or Verizon) to use their towers. However one of the disadvantages to using an MVNO is that you don’t get priority on congested towers (it goes Postpaid, prepaid then MVNO). Many MVNO’s out there use just one service provider, with a good number of them being AT&T or T-Mobile due to the GSM compatibility there. What’s different about Google’s Project Fi is that you are switching between WiFi, T-Mobile and Sprint’s network automatically. Not manually. Additionally, you only pay for what you use. So if you buy 1GB of data and only use 500MB, you will get an account credit for the 500MB you didn’t use.
Now when Project Fi was announced, it was invite only. And it was a really, really slow rollout for invites at the very beginning. A few months later, more and more users started getting invites to use Project Fi. Now there’s a rumor floating around that as of today, you will no longer need to get an invite to use Project Fi, or at least sign up. This is coming out of one of The Verge’s writers, Sean Hollister. Google typically announces things around 1-2pm EST, so we should find out pretty soon if this is indeed happening today. As of writing this, Project Fi does still need an invite. So it looks like things haven’t changed just yet. As soon as they do, we’ll be sure to let you know.
Project Fi is really interesting and exciting for a few reasons. One, you can get 1GB of data for as low as $30 per month, with the data only being $10. The other $20 goes for calls, texts, etc. And the fact that you get an account credit for the unused data is a big deal. Many of us don’t use the same amount of data each and every month, so that’s a great feature to have.