Google Project Fi free to join, but will seem expensive outside USA (and beam me up)

Project Fi is Google's try at MVNO mobile-phone industry disruption. But can Sundar spread his wings internationally?

Project Fi Google mobile phones
Maurizio Pesce (cc:by)

Project Fi, the Google mobile phone service, no longer needs an invitation to join. And in an aggressive pricing move, Google is slashing the price of a Nexus 5X to $199, so long as you sign up for Fi.

Right now, it's only available to U.S. residents, but Google is expected to expand the program in the future. The thing is, at $20/month plus data charges, it may seem inexpensive in the USA, but most other countries won't find the pricing especially competitive. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers bemoan the lack of true mobile competition in America. 

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Beam me up

What's the craic? Frederic Lardinois reports—You can now sign up for Google’s Project Fi cell service without an invite:

[It's] Google’s first foray into offering its own cell phone service. ... The service, which launched ten months ago, was an invite-only project until now.

Google is also making its Nexus 5X phones available for $199...for the next few months. ... Customers pay a base fee of $20 per month and then an addition $10 per GB. ... Unlimited domestic calls and texts...(3G) data coverage in 120+ countries, [and] international texts are also included.

The biggest drawback, though, is that Fi is only supported on Google’s own Nexus phones (the 6P, 5X and Nexus 6). ... Fi also works on a number of LTE-enabled tablets.

Und jede rief. Come and rock me, Ron Amadeo—Project Fi drops invite program, offers $150 off a Nexus 5X with service:

Project dropping its invite requirement. [And] you can get the normally $349 Nexus 5X for just $199...until April 7.

Project Fi is a pre-pay service with no'd then be on the hook for a month of service. ... So even if you have no desire to join Project Fi, around $230 for a still a deal.

Project Fi is Google's MVNO service that continually switches between Sprint and T-Mobile. [It] also combines all the best features of Google Voice, like visual voicemail, number forwarding, and the ability to send and receive SMS messages from any computer.

Sounds like a deal. Google's Simon Arscott brings the good news in listicle form—7 things we’ve learned about Project Fi:

Roughly 10 months ago we introduced Project Fi - a program to explore new ideas in wireless connectivity. ... We’re able to explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. ... We’ve learned a lot about how people use Project Fi.

We launched Project Fi as an...Early Access program to make sure we could deliver the best quality of service. ... While Project Fi is still in its early stages, we’re excited to welcome our next wave of customers.

So what's it like? Matthew Miller has been using it since October—Six months with Project Fi:

I signed up for Google Project Fi in October and have been using it as my secondary carrier for about the past six months. ... Over the last five months the total that I have paid to Google for service has been $36.41.

Given the low cost of Project Fi as my secondary service, I plan to increase my usage. [I'll] start thinking about it as a primary service.

But it's not for everyone. Or so says nonaanno:

It isn't for everyone. If you are a HEAVY data user, you could cut a better deal. ... But my data usage...runs less than 1GB/mo.

It depends on your data usage. Google Fi trys to use WiFi...if possible.

And Finally…

The trouble with transporters

You have been reading IT Blogwatch by Richi Jennings, who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don’t have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

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