It seems like Google is indeed going full speed ahead. With its Android smartphones effectively saturating the market, Google expanded even more into the mobile world last year launching Project Fi, the company's first foray into becoming a wireless carrier. While very exciting, Project Fi had several limitations.
For one, Project Fi seemed like a costly investment, requiring a consumer to purchase a Nexus 6, 5X or 6P device. Apart from this, it is also an invite-only service, which means that consumers would need to wait for Google's invite before they are able to sign up.
Today, however, Google has decided that Project Fi is ready for mass consumption, removing the invite-only feature and even offering a really sweet deal for those who are going to sign up for the service.
At least for the next few weeks, customers who sign up for Project Fi could purchase a brand new, unlocked Nexus 5X smartphone for $199. That's right, the normally $350 phone, which is already pretty much worth its original price, has gotten even cheaper. Talk about a deal.
Of course, the $199 deal only applies to the base model with 16GB of storage. For customers who would wish to get the 32GB model, the Nexus 5X's price goes up to a still reasonable price of $249. Then again, Google is offering payment plans for the device, so customers would not need to shell out the $199 or $249 outright.
Google's Project Fi utilizes pretty interesting technology to provide customers with wireless service. Technically, Project Fi is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), which means that it is a carrier which piggybacks on towers owned by the United States' biggest providers such as AT&T. Similar services exist in the market already, such as Cricket and Ting.
Then again, since the service is created by Google, it does have a few tricks up its sleeve as well. While conventional MVNOs piggyback on just one, specific provider's tower, Project Fi is able to connect to towers from both Sprint and T-Mobile.
Such is a reason why Project Fi is only offered for Nexus devices for now. Due to the smartphones being optimized for Google's services, it is only the Nexus 6, 5X and 6P that have the necessary radios to operate on T-Mobile and Sprint's networks interchangeably without any problems.
The deal gets better, though. Project Fi is, in a way, still in its infancy stage. If customers are not satisfied with Project Fi, they can simply drop the service and use Google's flagship smartphones on any regular carrier. The Nexus phones are sold unlocked, after all.