Google’s Project Fi aims to speed up mobile communications by tapping into free WiFi hotspots

April 23, 2015

Google has introduced Project Fi, a new hybrid wireless service intended to help speed up mobile voice, text, and data by tapping into one million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots that Google has verified as fast and reliable.

“Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what’s possible,” according to the Official Google Blog. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. It only supports the Nexus 6 phone initially.

“As you move around, the best network for you might be a Wi-Fi hotspot or a specific 4G LTE network,” Google says. “We developed new technology that gives you better coverage by intelligently connecting you to the fastest available network at your location whether it’s Wi-Fi or one of our two partner LTE networks” (Sprint and T-Mobile). Data in the WiFi path is also encrypted.

When you’re not on Wi-Fi, we move you between whichever of our partner networks is delivering the fastest speed, so you get 4G LTE in more places. Network of networks.

“If you leave an area of Wi-Fi coverage, your call will seamlessly transition from Wi-Fi to cell networks so your conversation doesn’t skip a beat,” Google explains. “We also want to help phone numbers adapt to a multi-screen world. With Project Fi, your phone number lives in the cloud, so you can talk and text with your number on just about any phone, tablet or laptop. Check out how it works.

The plan will cost $20 a month for the basics: talk, text, Wi-Fi tethering, and international coverage in 120+ countries, and there’s a flat $10 per GB for cellular data while in the U.S. and abroad. 1GB is $10/month, 2GB is $20/month, 3GB is $30/month, and so on, with reimbursement for unused data. Plan details.

Google invites people to sign up for Project Fi’s Early Access Program, which will be available on the Nexus 6, the first smartphone that supports the hardware and software to work with the service. If you live in the coveraage area in the U.S., you can request an invite at to get started.