Google is no stranger to dabbling in telecommunications. Its fiber network offers up to gigabit Internet speeds for a reasonable price in certain cities, and now the company is turning its eye to cellular service. Today, it's launching Project Fi, a shot at "introducing new ideas through a fast and easy wireless experience."
Central to this strategy is a seamless, high-quality connection. Phones on the Project Fi plan will connect to "more than a million" free Wi-Fi hotspots that Google has vetted as suitable for its service. When Wi-Fi isn't available, Project Fi phones will use Sprint or T-Mobile cellular towers, depending on which offers a faster connection.
Google also wants to make paying for cellular service easier. The basic plan starts at $20 a month, which includes unlimited voice calls and texting, "low-cost" international calls, and Wi-Fi tethering. From there, data costs an additional $10 per gigabyte per month, both in the U.S. and for international roaming (though data is limited to 3G connectivity abroad). Subscribers get a monetary credit for unused data, and overruns are charged at the same $10/GB rate. Most intriguingly, Project Fi is contract-free.