Google's Project Fi: Disrupting Wireless As We Know It - InformationWeek

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Google's Project Fi: Disrupting Wireless As We Know It
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Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
4/23/2015 | 2:48:54 PM
It'll be interesting to see how carriers respond
While you can argue there are some initial restrictions to this model, particularly the device requirement, and seeing how exactly the data charges would pan out in real-world usage, it's nice to see them challenging the traditional carrier market.  Here in Canada for example, mobile data plans are still a little on the expensive side, so if we were able to eventually have this type of model launched in Canada, I can see many consumers leaving the traditional telecom companies for a potential decrease in their monthly mobility costs.

I'm definitely curious to see how this plays out, and if it does provide an overall reduction in service charges for users, and the promise of flexibility outside having one key device like the Nexus 6.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 10:06:04 AM
Re: It'll be interesting to see how carriers respond

As long as Google Fi is using the carries' services, it won't be that competitive.  Sprint and T-Mobile will not be giving the milk away for free.  The best part of Fi service is the phone's ability to use Sprint, T-Mobile, or WiFi networks.  But using problematic networks to begin with won't impress prospects.  Using three bad eggs doesn't make the omelet any better. Now if Google had contracted with both Verizon and AT&T instead of or in addition to Sprint and T-Mobile, this would be interesting.

SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 1:01:39 PM
Re: It'll be interesting to see how carriers respond
The best thing about this service is that Google gives you back the amount of money for the data that you did not use. I think connectivity aside, this is the best strength of the system.
johnehoux
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johnehoux,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2015 | 3:05:04 PM
Project Fi, quality of voice reception
Will Project Fi feature HD audio or some equivilent? For those of us, hard of hearing  with clarity problems this would be  godsend. The major carriers keep stalling on this, mainly I suppose because of cost.  
JonathanS696
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JonathanS696,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2015 | 3:34:46 PM
Republic Wireless
Its has already been done. It is a great service available to anyone and it is called Republic Wireless. Check it out. 

 
jastroff
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jastroff,
User Rank: Ninja
4/23/2015 | 3:35:50 PM
Yes! Let's Disrupt Wireless
Here's hoping this isn't another Google Glass...and this one works

Bringing down costs and making connectivity easier are two things that should get the attention of current carriers who have been enjoying a kind of monopoly and overcharging customers for years. 

>> In other words, the carriers have figured out how to get consumers to overpay for wireless service.

A good way to sum it all up:

>> Google wants to see the wireless industry change. It wants to see people connect to and use networks more seamlessly, use a variety of devices and platforms for base communication needs (calls and messaging), and, eventually, pay less for the wireless communication services they use.

My current "cableco" offers a $9.99 wi-fi phone/service using their cable wi-fi signal. If you subscribe to their Internet services, you can get their (and others) wi-fi on the road. But, the phone only works on wi-fi and not on the cellular network. The user also has to buy the special phone. This is not a disruptive offering, nor an offering to expand usage. It is an offering to make more money for the cable company while giving limited services to the user.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 1:03:10 PM
Re: Yes! Let's Disrupt Wireless
@jastroff: heres' to hoping that too. The only gripe I have is that this technology is limited to Nexus 6. Hopefully that won't be a problem in the future.
Saturation
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Saturation,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2015 | 3:43:14 PM
This can work as it exists today
When I travel internationally, I save money on nonurgent phone calls or multimedia texting by using an instant messaging app on free wifi at coffee shops, stores, etc., its akin to finding a public phone to make a call, as you have to stay within the wifi zone for the duration of the call.  This obviates having to subscribe to an international plan, or getting a local SIM card.   You have to have a messenger app between parties, and on Android that universal app would be hangouts as it uses either wifi or LTE as its transport layer.   However, switching betwen Wifi and LTE as needed, is a manual procedure today.   Using Wifi to make calls and texts has treatened the cellular model for some time, and they responded early by using a fixed fee for unlimited domestic calls and SMS [ as low as $20 on some consolidators like ChitChat Mobile], but subject multimedia on MMS to dataplan quotas.  So pretty much all the pieces are there and are known to work, Google just needs to integrate it to make it seemless. 
Gary_EL
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Gary_EL,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 12:07:27 AM
Wifi isn't all the prevalent
I live in a major city, and I often use a tablet. I can tell you that unless I'm in a mall or a coffeshop, there isn't all that much wifi around - especiallty wifi that doesn't require a password. There is, however, a bit more wifi around that has has passwords that a merchant will gladly give a customer, that a device remembers and automatically uses the next time you're in the area. I wonder if Fi "remembers" these types of passwords, and can switch automatically and seemlessly into those services?
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 10:27:43 AM
Re: Wifi isn't all the prevalent
You can say that again.  If you want to stream content over public WiFi  go luck.  Most spots are only suited for catching up on your email.  I've never been to a McDonald's or other such free retail WiFi spot that perfomed correctly, never.
SunitaT0
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SunitaT0,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 12:55:57 PM
Re: Wifi isn't all the prevalent
@DDURBIN1: You can say that again. Most public WIFI aren't good enough for uploading/downloading but if you talk about IOT though, it makes a lot of sense to use wifi zones because IOT data packets can be transmitted fast and securely.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 9:45:55 AM
Not that disrupting
It requires a Nexus 6 phone and no others, so you'l need to purchase same (32GB is $700).  The "free" WiFi spots are available to any and all WiFi capable devices not just Fi services or a Nexus 6.  The lowest data plan is 3GB not 1gb or 2gb.  It's basicly a Sprint/T-Mobile repackaged plan at $50 per month.  The best thing about it is its month to month with no contract.  How will other carries respond?  Well Spint and T-Mobile already get a cut of the pie since its their networks in play.  Not much different than Virgin Mobile or Cricket Wireless reselling other carries' services, just add Google to this list.  I expect this offering to do no better than one of these resellers as both Sprint and T-Mibile networks don't compare to Verizon and AT&T even if the phone can use either.  The only hope here is that Google helps Sprint and T-Moble better build out their infrastructure to better complete.  Until then, I'll keep my grand fathered unlimited data plan with Verizon.
Michelle
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Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
4/24/2015 | 5:16:31 PM
Data ransom
I am curious to see how this plays out. Big carriers have definately discovered a way to convince customers to buy more data now so they don't get hit with overage fees later. I would prefer to pay for actual usage and I suspect many others do too. Wi-fi connectivity and safety are my biggest concern with the new service.
Canamjay
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Canamjay,
User Rank: Guru
4/25/2015 | 2:47:26 PM
Re: Data ransom
This article is confusing to say the least....IF the service works (no problem) with 'other' phones, why is the NExus 6 required to open an account? there is no mention of the role a Google Tel # subscription... why can't these semi-technical articles be better written?? one last time... CAN one subscribe to this service without owning/buying a Nexus 6? and does/will a subscribed google # suffice using any other smart phone...  HTC1 for example.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2015 | 11:59:21 AM
Re: Data ransom
Technically, you already can - you have a fixed amount of data then pay for any extra, usually per GB. I am assuming you mean you want LOWER prices for the data when you go over?
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 4:59:17 PM
Re: Data ransom
"I would prefer to pay for actual usage and I suspect many others do too. Wi-fi connectivity and safety are my biggest concern with the new service."

@Michelle: I think when you have a back up connection in the form of 3G or LTE and WiFi is just one of the connectivity options, it may not be so bad. You will not be solely dependent on that and connectivity may not be a big issue.
GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2015 | 11:58:17 AM
Google isn't as "altruistic" as they appear...
Let's be honest - Google could ALREADY release this right now as a free app or integrate it directly into Android. From what the article says, it already knows the locations of free WiFi spots all over the world and connects to them accordingly. Therefore, they could build this functionality right into Android for ALL Android phones. This would still reduce people's usage of wireless data and would allow us, the consumers, to lower our data plans as we see actual reduction of usage. 

Instead, they are getting a piece of the action and selling devices directly to customers, possibly getting a kickback from the service as well. If they were really wanting to "modify" the carrier's behaviors, this is what they would be doing instead. Not to mention, are we now letting Google decide who to punish, what is "fair" and who to control in the global marketplace? Scary stuff..

 
tzubair
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tzubair,
User Rank: Ninja
4/28/2015 | 5:25:30 PM
Re: Google isn't as "altruistic" as they appear...
 

"From what the article says, it already knows the locations of free WiFi spots all over the world and connects to them accordingly. Therefore, they could build this functionality right into Android for ALL Android phones. This would still reduce people's usage of wireless data and would allow us, the consumers, to lower our data plans as we see actual reduction of usage. "

@GAProgrammer: I think it's different to know the locations of all free WiFi hotspots and to actually point out their locations and enable the users to connect with them. The free WiFi hotspot owners may not be too happy on this without their consent and they may require their prior approval before any user is given connectivity.

 
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2015 | 2:44:25 PM
Beautiful theory, problemtic execution
Notwithstanding the already mentioned high priced point of entry, even if consumers have the extra jack to buy a Nexus 6 phone, that still doesn't guarantee being able to use Project Fi since like Grand Central before it was purchased and rebranded as Google Voice, participation is restricted to invitation only.

 

 
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
4/27/2015 | 7:10:39 PM
Re: Beautiful theory, problemtic execution
Interesting. This plan sounds extra beneficial to consumers that are mostly hooked up through their wifi.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
4/30/2015 | 6:42:14 PM
invite
I registered for the invite, even though I don't own a Nexus.
If I read the article correctly, I might still qualify. We'll see. I'm on the "list" for now.


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