Google Project Fi: Reasons To Love And Hate It

Google's Project Fi is an interesting set of contradictions. Here's what we love and hate about it.

David Wagner, Executive Editor, Community & IT Life

April 26, 2015

3 Min Read
<p align="left">(Image: <a href="" target="_blank">GageSkidmore</a> via Wikipedia)</p>

7 Weird Wireless Concepts That Just Might Work

7 Weird Wireless Concepts That Just Might Work

7 Weird Wireless Concepts That Just Might Work (Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Google's Project Fi wireless service wouldn't be all that noticeable if it wasn't a Google project. In price, it mirrors many smaller wireless carriers. In technology, it is more convenient other offerings, but hardly a game changer. But the fact that Google is doing it means there's something up.

Google experiments a lot, but usually only with things its executives think could move the needle, and Google's needle is pretty hard to move. So I decided to investigate its pros and cons.

Google claims the goal with Project Fi isn't to make money directly, but to drive innovations that the entire wireless industry should adopt.

One of those things it wants to do is facilitate moving seamlessly from multiple public WiFi hotspots for voice and data. I have no doubt it can accomplish this, though I do wonder what that will do to the battery life of my smartphone. These handsome folks don't seem to worry about it.

Google wants to break the "bucket" in which we overpay for cellular data on our smartphones because, to avoid overage charges, we always buy more than we need. Sounds great, but I think it might be those charges that keep me from spending my entire day watching cat videos on my mobile device.

[ Already know you want Fi? You'll need an invitation. Read Google Fi Wireless Service: By Invitation Only, For Now. ]

Google wants to charge me about half of what I pay for my mobile phone service now, but if I don't give Verizon or AT&T my money, I'm just going to give it to the Nigerian Prince who says he needs help moving his money out of the country.

In other words, I'm torn about the whole thing. So I thought I'd break it down as scientifically as possible. I decided to come up with the reasons I love Google Project Fi, and the reasons I hate it. And hopefully it will help me decide. You play along:

Google Fi: Love & Hate

Love: The name is unlikely to make you as hungry as the nicknames for new Android updates.

Hate: I've already heard people pronounce it "fee" and "fi." Tom-A-to. Tom-ahh-to. Let's call the whole thing off.

Love: Can't wait to cancel my Verizon account by saying "Can you hear me now?" as I hang up for the last time.

Hate: If this continues, Google might know me better than the NSA.

Love: Google's quest to simplify wireless calling and offer a clear interface will eventually lead to us all having a single symbol phone number displayed on a white screen. Kind of like what Prince did.

Hate: The company is still going to try to make us use Google+ for stuff.

Love: When you don't use cellular data, Google will give you some money back.

Hate: When you do use cellular data, Google will give you more ads.

Love: Google says it isn't out to make money but to "drive innovation."

Hate: If Google drives innovation like it drives cars, we might all get motion sickness.

What do you think? Will you become a Google Fi customer anytime soon? Tell me in the comments section below.

Interop Las Vegas, taking place April 27-May 1 at Mandalay Bay Resort, is the leading independent technology conference and expo series dedicated to providing technology professionals the unbiased information they need to thrive as new technologies transform the enterprise. IT Pros come to Interop to see the future of technology, the outlook for IT, and the possibilities of what it means to be in IT.

About the Author(s)

David Wagner

Executive Editor, Community & IT Life

David has been writing on business and technology for over 10 years and was most recently Managing Editor at Before that he was an Assistant Editor at MIT Sloan Management Review, where he covered a wide range of business topics including IT, leadership, and innovation. He has also been a freelance writer for many top consulting firms and academics in the business and technology sectors. Born in Silver Spring, Md., he grew up doodling on the back of used punch cards from the data center his father ran for over 25 years. In his spare time, he loses golf balls (and occasionally puts one in a hole), posts too often on Facebook, and teaches his two kids to take the zombie apocalypse just a little too seriously. 

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights