Google today announced that its Project Fi cell service is now available to anyone in the U.S. without an invitation.
Google first introduced Project Fi in April 2015. The idea was to blend the best of Wi-Fi access with wireless access from two carriers — T-Mobile and Sprint — on certain phones. The rollout effectively turned Google into a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), not just the company behind the Android mobile operating system. But all this time Project Fi was available by invitation only. That is, Google had to give you access after you asked for access.
Now that’s changing. No more waiting list, Project Fi product manager Simon Arscott wrote in a blog post. To sweeten the deal, Google is offering LG’s Nexus 5X smartphone, which supports Project Fi, for $199 — $150 off the retail price — for new Fi subscribers, Arscott wrote.
The offer is valid until April 7 while supplies last for people 18 and older in the U.S., with just one discounted 5X per customer, according to the terms of the promotion.
Project Fi is a pretty innovative service when you compare it with standard wireless service — for one thing, the cost can be very appealing, but there’s also a useful app for monitoring usage and excellent support. The service starts at $20 per month for unlimited calling and texting and $10 for every gigabyte of data you want to use each month. In December, Google bolstered Project Fi by introducing data-only SIM cards that you can put into secondary devices, including some iPads.
My review of the service after two months of usage is here.