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Project Fi: Google’s Own, Rumored Wireless Subscription Service

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What you need to know about a leak that reveals the much talked-about Project Fi, Google’s plan of becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

There are lots of areas in the technology industry that Google has dipped its proverbial hands into, but wireless service is currently not one of them.

In the United States, that realm is being reigned over by big names like AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and others. However, that may soon change as Google, one of the world?s most prolific tech companies is rumored to be working on Project Fi. It?s an initiative that aims to turn the company into a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

The leak

The search giant?s plans of building a mobile operator business are officially confirmed, but it isn?t yet ready to make its MVNO network available to its customers. Even so, Android Police discovered a new Android app inside a mid-February Lollipop build for the Nexus 6. It sheds light to some interesting?details about the company?s upcoming wireless carrier initiative.

From the looks of it, the Big G has?some exciting ideas to convince subscribers?to ditch their?regular wireless plan in favor of its upcoming, unnamed service said to be known internally as Project Fi. If this speculation turn out to be accurate, it might turn Google into a brand new, but much smaller ?uncarrier.?

What is Project Fi?

We’ve previously heard about this service under the codename Project Nova, but now it appears that Google?s developers are referring to it as Project Fi. As mentioned, the details about this effort come from an unreleased over-the-air (OTA) update for the Motorola Nexus 6 that was meant for beta testers. The firmware, which was finalized on or after February 16, contains an app called ?Tycho? that appears to act as a portal in order to use Google?s future wireless service.

The Tycho app is essentially a carrier app that allows users to turn the service on and off, view account details, switch devices, add lines, share data with other devices, print statements and lots more. Android Police unearthed and pointed out the app?s code as evidence, which also happen to make reference to ?Nova.?

Project Fi seems to depend on Sprint?s and T-Mobile?s towers for cellular connectivity, as rumored earlier this year, and according to the site?s teardown Google is planning a set up a tiered allotment plan structure with usage-based fees. Assuming things won?t change between now and this service?s official launch, users?will only get to pay for the data you consume, and will be ?credited for rollover data at the end of each monthly payment period. In the case of data overage, subscribers would?pay a flat rate for every gigabyte used.

We should learn more about Google?s Project Fi on May when the company?s annual Google I/O developer conference kicks off. Droid-Life.com shared that the search giant routinely unveil new products and services during these I/O events.


Photo Credit: ?Cory Doctorow via Flickr

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