Google has unveiled a new U.S. wireless service, potentially creating more disruption in the wireless sector. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Google has unveiled its new wireless service - Project Fi. It will cost just $20 a month, plus $10 per gigabyte of data usage, and customers will only pay for what they use. But Google isn't a wireless carrier, so the service will actually be hosted on Sprint and T-Mobile networks. And there's a big upside there for consumers, says Jackdaw research's Jan Dawson: SOUNDBITE: JACK DAWSON, FOUNDER, JACKDAW RESEARCH (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It will switch between the T-Mobile and Sprint networks when it is using cellular, depending on who has the best connection, which obviously nobody does today. You tend to be stuck with whichever network you've chosen." If consumers are near a wifi spot, then the connection would default to that, lowering costs. For now, Google has said it is an experiment, and it is not intended to disrupt the wireless industry. Project Fi will only work with the company's Nexus 6 phones. But analysts say, if it is successful, it could put pressure on wireless provider's prices, and force them to better adapt to tablets and wearable devices. For Google, it is also one more way to learn more about its users. IDC's Brian Haven: SOUNDBITE: BRIAN HAVEN, SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST, IDC (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It allows Google to, potentially, extend the amount of end points they have with users and collect data that will help to drive their platforms with things like, say, advertising. You know, Google collects a lot of data through their search engines, through their operating system, and through their devices, and, I think, that just adds to that. " Early access to Project Fi is already available, but consumers have to request an invitation, and wait to hear from Google.