What is Google Project Fi and How it Works? (Neatly Explained)

The buzz about Google’s new venture, Project Fi caught my attention and inspired me write this article. The rumor about Google coming up with a new carrier has come to real and is being offered at very different pulses and prices. If you are having a Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P, the Project Fi might interest you. If you are planning to buy a Nexus 5X, Project Fi would become your first choice to sign up with. Google is giving back $150 cashback on Nexus 5X if brought with the Project Fi carrier network.

I know it’s interesting. Let’s take a tour of Google Project Fi at a glance and see how this technology works in real world.

What is Project Fi?

Project Fi is a network carrier technology from Google that seamlessly connects to both the networks T-Mobile and Sprint based on the network availability without any signal drop interventions while switching. The Google has made the rumour of bringing a carrier network that works in real world.


Project Fi comes with a SIM card and piece of software that has to be installed on the Android device to activate it. The software is intelligent enough to detect the high quality Wi-Fi hotspots when you leave home or office to save data charges. Users with Project Fi SIM cards are allowed to make unlimited calls and texts for monthly subscription of $20 and are charged for the data used. The data that is not used will be credited to the next month and if you have used a bit more extra, you will be charged $10 per every GB.

How does Project Fi work?

Normal mobile phones connect to the network cells that will involve only the towers of that particular network carrier. If you go outside the cell, your mobile phone will loose the signal until another cell network is caught. Even while switching between cells, the mobile phones disconnect calls, fails sending messages and causes other network interruptions unless retried in the new cell network.

Google Project Fi technology hold the support of multiple network carriers, selects the best network for the device and switches among them intelligently basing on the speed and quality of the network sensed. Take a look at the diagram for better understanding.


Let’s suppose the blue hexagons are the Network X’s cells and yellow hexagons the Network Y’s. The mobile phones using X’s carrier network will get signal until they stay inside the cells. If they enter the ‘connection gap’ area, the possibility of getting the network is zero unless the network carrier Y is associated with X to provide roaming network which is impossible all the times.

Project Fi technology comes with an .apk application for Android that takes the responsibility of intelligent switching over the networks including the non-network carriers like Wi-Fi hotspots. This technology uses another network (2G/3G/4G/Wi-Fi) in the ‘connection gap’ area without the intervention of connections.

That means if you are talking over VoIP while in journey and is pulled out of your network carrier’s cell, the Fi network will catch the nearby high quality signal either from another carrier or from Wi-Fi hotspot thus saving your data over the network. The prioritization of network selection would be handled by the Fi Android app.

Is Project Fi available in my country?

Google provides Project Fi services in 120+ countries including India with unlimited texts, low cost calls and $10 per GB plan. However, the plans and rates differ for different countries.

Check if your country has Google Fi network coverage from this link: fi.google.com/coverage.

Features of Project Fi

  • The features of Project Fi can be summarized into following.
  • One number to chat across multiple devices.
  • Call and texts over Wi-Fi network for more coverage.
  • Seamless calls transmission between Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
  • Can use phone number on laptops and tablets too.
  • Talk, text, voicemail from the nearest device.

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