Project Fi may implement a new feature that will let users throttle their data speeds. Google's MVNO stated that it is currently experimenting with this feature as it seeks more ways to let users control their data consumption to prevent additional charges. Unlike major wireless carriers, Project Fi does not offer unlimited plans and it instead charges the user $10 for every gigabyte of data consumed on top of the $20 Fi Basics that includes unlimited calls within the United States and unlimited international texts, and cellular coverage in more than 135 countries around the globe. The MVNO typically alerts users if they are close to exceeding their data allocation and if they do surpass their budgets, subscribers are charged $10 for every gigabyte in excess of the plan. The ability to throttle data speeds should allow customers to limit data consumption of family members enrolled in the carrier's group plans.
However, the testing of the new feature has not gone smoothly since some subscribers received a notification stating that their data speeds have been throttled due to excessive usage. There are also reports of SIM cards being temporarily deactivated after receiving the notification, which prevents users from making calls or accessing the internet. The company's customer service has stated that this is a mistake on its part and that its subscribers' data speeds should return to normal soon. For those whose SIM cards were deactivated, a temporary fix is to switch their handsets to either Sprint or US Cellular networks by entering "*#*#34777# *#*." A permanent fix will also be rolled out soon, although the carrier has yet to provide a specific timeline for its deployment.
While it may take some time before the throttling feature is rolled out, customers who want to observe and control their data usage may utilize the Project Fi app for now with the same goal. The app offers live monitoring of data consumption through a widget on your home screen and a breakdown of data used by every app installed on your smartphone. Aside from those tracking features, the service can also facilitate the process of using public Wi-Fi hotspots, as is often the case with official mobile apps from wireless carriers.