Google has announced the launch of its new mobile phone network. The network, called Project Fi, is to connect users to open Wi-Fi hotspots, as well as to Sprint and T-Mobile. The company is renting voice and data capacity from the companies and is only offering the service to Nexus 6 owners initially.
The company’s “ultra-fast” broadband service, Google Fiber, has been so successful that it has forced competitors to boost their speeds without raising their prices. While Fiber required the firm to buy and build its own infrastructure, Project Fi depends on other companies’ equipment. Some experts think that this might limit its success.
Subscribers to Google Fiber are to be switched between Sprint and T-Mobile’s 4G signals, depending on which is the strongest at any particular point. They will be able to make calls over Wi-Fi without using an app. Google told customers: “As you go about your day, Project Fi automatically connects you to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots we’ve verified as fast and reliable”.
Customers will be given their own Project Fi number and will only need to pay for data that they actually use. Google claims that it has no current plans to roll out the scheme to other models. The company recently said that it was treating mobile-optimized sites more favorably in its organic mobile search results.