Internet giant Google has launched its experimental Project Fi mobile network that automatically connects users to the fastest available service.
Switching between Wi-Fi connectivity via existing free hotspots and partnering US mobile data providers Sprint and T-Mobile, Project Fi will enable the users to get the best out of the available, Google said.
Google offers the so far experimental service to US-based owners of its Nexus 6 handsets, providing coverage in 120 countries around the world.
“By designing across hardware, software and connectivity, we can more fully explore new ways for people to connect and communicate,” Google said in a blog post.
“Similar to our Nexus hardware program, Project Fi enables us to work in close partnership with leading carriers, hardware makers, and all of you to push the boundaries of what's possible.”
The project also explores the concept of a cloud-based phone number, meaning a user would be able to use his or her phone number from associated devices such as laptops or tablets.
“The next time you misplace your phone, you can stay connected using another screen,” Google said.
For $20 a month, users get a package of services including voice and text, Wi-Fi tethering and international coverage. In addition, the users would pay $10 for every GB of data they would want to use.
“Since it's hard to predict your data usage, you'll get credit for the full value of your unused data,” said Google. “Let's say you go with 3GB for $30 and only use 1.4GB one month. You'll get $16 back, so you only pay for what you use.
Project Fi is Google’s second venture into the telecommunications market. In 2012, the firm launched project Fiber. Providing ultra-fast broadband Internet and cable television, it stirred the US telecoms sector and forced its rivals including Comcast and Time Warner Cable to step up their game.
While in the case of Fiber Google bought and redeveloped infrastructure, Project Fi it will rely completely on existing providers, which could limit the project’s effect.