Google could announce its new wireless service today

Sundar-Pichai-Google

According to an exclusive report over at WSJ (sub requireD) Google is going to make its rumored wireless service official today, April 22nd. And if it does, it could be the most Un-carrier thing to hit the market since T-Mobile.

Unlike traditional carriers, Google’s service is rumored to allow customers to pay only for the data they use each month, instead of having set tiers or “buckets”. It sounds like great news for the industry, although initially it’s expected to only work on the Nexus 6. Which is a pretty huge restriction. It’s also expected to run on Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks – both of whom have agreed to “carry the traffic”. The device will be able to switch between Sprint and T-Mobile networks depending on which has the best signal strength at any given time.

It’s worth remembering that Google itself has stated that it isn’t planning on wide-scale domination. Rather, this is a “small scale experiment“.

“Google’s wireless project has been in the works for roughly two years. It is part of a broader effort by the company to make it easier for people to access the Internet. As more consumers and businesses get online, they are more likely to use Google services like search, YouTube and work applications.

“Google argues that if wireless spectrum was used more efficiently it would resolve a lot of the wireless bottlenecks that carriers deal with,” Mr. Chand [head of research at Rutberg & Company] said.”

Google has several advantages with this model. First, it doesn’t have its own network infrastructure, so any overheads normally associated with the upkeep of towers and additional deployment aren’t a concern. Second, it’s not tied to one carrier, giving the end user the best of both worlds. Although some might argue that getting AT&T and Verizon onboard as network partners would be a wise move. Third, it’s not a major risk. It has the capital to try this experiment and – if it doesn’t work out – they haven’t invested billions in getting a network off the ground. And, if it does work out, it can start offering more phones.

Source: WSJ

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  • Mike

    Will they allow tethering? That is my one and only question. It seems no pre-paid/MVNO provider allows tethering.

    • Cam Bunton

      Obviously, I can only speculate or form un/educated guesses, but if you’re charging customers for the data they use, surely it doesn’t make any sense to differentiate between kinds of data. 1GB is 1GB.

      With unlimited plans, it makes sense to limit because then you have millions using their phones as hotspots, as their primary internet source. That would kill the network. Paying per GB, customers won’t be as “free” to do that.

    • lolcatlolcatlol

      T-Mobile does

    • VG

      The prepaid divisions of T-Mobile, Verizon Prepaid and AT&T GoPhone all include tethering. Don’t know about Sprint, though.

    • Mike

      I should have been more clear about pre-paid. I didn’t mean branded pre-paid. For example, Cricket pre-paid (owned by ATT) does not.

  • Philip

    I just wonder will it work since you have to depend on other network tower? Then its nothing more than another service provider.

  • Mirad77

    Cam I know you have to make money from ads but c’mon! It’s getting worse by the day, like I have to deal with ads first before reading an article.

    • Jose Hernandez

      I have to agree!! it is getting to be a huge issue.

      • gpt2010

        It’s not Cam. It is PhoneDog’s decision to do that. I sent an email to them a year ago about it. PhoneDog’s website was really bad at one point. Even worse than TMONews. They told me they were going to work on it, and they have, but you won’t see it completely go away. I understand all sites need to make money however they can, but there comes a time where ads just take away from the actual content of a site that people check out on a daily basis.

        • jakematic

          AdBlockPlus is showing 37 ads, and Ghostery is showing 21 trackers for this page alone.

          I used a browser without them the other day…. just once…

        • pseudoswede

          My father hung me on a hook once. Once.

        • Matt

          My adblock shows 46 =( Im wondering if they are redundant after one is blocked, others show up trying to overcome the blocker?

    • Ordeith

      If the ads become too aggravating to deal with readers will either leave for other sites or use ad blockers. There is a balance that needs to be kept and trying to increase revenue by increasing ad annoyance could have the opposite effect.

      • Kogashuko

        Yeh he should really reevaluate their add policy. I specifically have a add and popup blocker on my browser. While I am located in south carolina right now, in my home state Virginia, it is illegal to deliberately circumvent any software on the users computer without permission. One of these days this is going to shake down very bad for these guys and many others.

        • TylerCameron

          I’m okay with ads, but the clickbait ads like “secret brain pill” or “insurance loophole that everyone should know about” why does PhoneDog allow ads like those? .-. They’re just malicious.

          And while you can get adblock on a computer without difficulty, you have to root/jailbreak to get adblock on phones.

  • Dany namou

    60$ a month with nexus 6 included no money down. Unlimited talk, text and data (2.5 or 3gb of 4g). Higher tiers of data available.
    Alternate: 70$ identical everything save for you can turn in your nexus 6 for the next gen nexus after a year of service and you get a protection plan.
    Family plans soon to come.

    You heard it from me first

    • patelj27b

      Uhh, didn’t they just say that a subscriber would pay for the data that they use? Try again!

      • Dany namou

        Just remember I said it first.

      • thepanttherlady

        You’ll have to pay for the data you want upfront and any unused data is credited back to the account (in $) at the end of the month.

  • Mark McCoskey

    I’m definitely excited about this. Would love to hear something about the devices, smartphones and tablets, that will go along with this beyond the initial Nexus 6. I’m hoping for a 2015 Nexus 7, perhaps built by Huawei.

  • Ordeith

    Google’s vertical integration aspirations should make the carriers wary. Google hasn’t met a market yet they didn’t want to take over and control.

    • No worries. In the rolling out of Google Fiber, it has proven to be naive and incompetent to be a real competitor in those markets.

  • Georgios Renieris

    Maybe in a year or 2 I would consider switching gotta see how this goes.

  • Analog Spirit

    I’d give this a try if it’s usable on all devices. I wouldn’t mind too much if it’s limited to Android devices, as I’d just have to get an Android device. But if it really is restricted to just the Nexus 6, I’ll have to pass on it cause that thing is just too damn big for my liking.

  • Justsomecommentor

    If they offer a hotspot, I may consider it.

  • Deswaga

    Am i the I the only one not seeing these annoying ads that so many are speaking of?

    • MKashi

      I don’t see any ads too, but I have adaway on my phone and adblock on my computer.

    • Danny Lewis

      My Adblock is reporting 38 blocked elements, LOL

  • Danny Lewis

    My problem is that my wife doesn’t have a Nexus 6. I guess I have to wait until they support the Nexus 5 or come out with a new Nexus 5. :(

  • xtasys

    just launched a few minutes ago
    https://fi.google.com/about/plan/

  • First, the costs incurred to the carriers to maintain their network infrastructure is passed on to Google in the price charged to it. Second, it’s still tied to the carriers with which it enters into an agreement.
    Third, it’s a major risk, since Google has proven to pull the plug on its endeavours in short notice. And if this experiment doesn’t work out, its customers will be left hanging, but Google will have sold more phones.

    • skittle

      Exactly! You nailed it.

    • jason andria

      Agreed to some point, but if it does flop you can simply take your nexus to T-MOBILE and buy a simple choice plan which for most people would be better anyway with the free music and other uncarrier moves t-mobile has made

  • Haverhill_John

    So, if they use T-Mobiles network, will T-Mobile honor the music freedom deal?

    • skittle

      Honestly I don’t know for sure. But it would seem like going through Google that we would lose all of the perks that we now get by paying our dollar directly to T-Mobile. Like a Walmart plan maybe.

      • jason andria

        That is true

    • icwhatudidthere

      Good question but I doubt it. My guess is you would never know if you’re on T-Mobile or Sprint so you never know if you’re using data or not.

      • jason andria

        Oh you will know, one minute your data will be fast as shit, the other will be just shit

    • Most likely not, since only the T-mobile’s Simple Choice plans have it, but not its other plans.

  • JTrip

    $10 per GB” Awww hell no!

  • vlv723

    I read that using data abroad on Google FI, the speed is limited to 256kbps/3G

    Now, if T-Mobile increases the international roaming data speed from 128kbps/2G to 256kbps/3G, I’ll be a happy camper.

  • PHL

    Understand this for what it is. Google is trying to redefine the wireless telephony paradigm. Just as the old POTS lines have mostly been replaced by VOIP and cellular, the concept of a “phone number” will eventually morph into future communications technologies. In the short term, it’s basically VOLTE. In the long term, it could be baked into the Internet of Things so that you could communicate via any web-enabled device simply by being in close proximity. The idea of a smartphone might eventually disappear altogether when you are constantly surrounded by dozens or hundreds of connected devices.

    • Redefinition FAIL!

      • Orlando

        The redefinition was spot on……get the obamaphone.Com augustine. This must all be above your paygrade

  • skittle

    This from a major news outlet:
    “Google on Wednesday announced Project Fi, a new cell phone service that will compete with AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint.”
    “Project Fi is like any other wireless service, except for a few notable differences.

    1. It works across multiple networks. Google partnered with Sprint (S) and T-Mobile (TMUS) and will tap into more than a million free Wi-Fi hotspots across the world. Project Fi will piggyback on those networks, seamlessly switching between them to choose the network with the fastest and most reliable service in your area.

    No matter what network you’re on — or if you’re connecting via Wi-Fi, Google will let you make calls, stream media, browse the Web and use apps. You can also make and place calls using your phone number on any of your devices, including a PC or a tablet.

    And when you’re on an open, public Wi-Fi network, Google will automatically encrypt your data to protect it from hackers.”
    I don’t know about you but I feel so wonderfully safe knowing Google will encrypt the data to keep out hackers ;)
    I read at another site that this will be by in vitiation only. We all know its Nexus 6 only now too.