Google has officially launched its Project Fi mobile network, geared initially towards owners of the Nexus 6 smartphone.
As rumoured in recent weeks, the company has partnered with T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States to offer a Mobile Virtual Network Operator service.
The highlights of the Project Fi service are the ability for customers to pay for only the data they consume and the opportunity to use the service without restrictions or roaming fees in over 120 countries around the world.
The company will charge subscribers a basic $20 a month for talking, texting, Wi-Fi, tethering and international roaming, while data will be $10/GB each month. If users buy 2GB of data and only use 1.4GB of that data, they’ll be credited $6 at the end of the billing cycle.
Project Fi will also automatically connect users to more than a million free, open Wi-Fi hotspots that have been verified by Google “as fast and reliable.”
The platform also enables the ability to jump between devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops as the phone number lives in the cloud, rather than on the device. That means if users lose their phone, they’ll still be able to make calls and texts from the number on any other phone, tablet or laptop.
Google writes: “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. So the next time you misplace your phone, you can stay connected using another screen”
Google is today opening up early access invites for U.S. based Nexus 6 owners who can hop on at fi.google.com to get started, should the service be available in their location. The company said it is sending out a ‘small number of invites’ each week.
The Nexus 6 is just the first device to support Project Fi, but it’s likely every new Nexus smartphone and perhaps a host more authorised handsets will be added in due course.
Nick Fox, Google’s VP of Communications Products wrote: “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. By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate. Two of the top mobile networks in the U.S.—Sprint and T-Mobile—are partnering with us to launch Project Fi and now you can be part of the project too.”