Google is racing ahead on creating new services for people because they know that as more people access the internet, they gain more information on the things around them and that spurs innovation. In order to be part of that movement they know people need access to the internet and the only way to do that is by making sure it is available where ever people go. This is why Google is creating, Project Fi, which allows Nexus 6 users to only pay for the wireless service they use at $20 dollars a month.
Intense Wi-Fi Demand
There was a meme that was going around on the internet saying the following
This simple concept right there tells you where our priorities are as humans. Aside from the fact that we don’t do enough for the environment as we should, like everyone composting at home, the demand for wi-fi has increased so much that people are looking for better options on their phone to ensure that they are always connected.
New York city has a plan in place to replace those old phone booths throughout the many cities and turn them into free wi-fi hotspots. You can read the article I wrote right here about how cities are doing this. I don’t think I have seen anyone use a phone booth in recent times, except in old movies, anymore because everyone has a phone in their hand, even kids. The idea of putting change into a phone seems rather weird now. The push for more companies to start offering wi-fi in their stores helps bring more foot traffic and business. Starbucks and McDonald’s were the first to capitalize on this trend and boy has it done wonders for them.
If you walk into any Starbucks you see more and more people planting themselves down for the day in order to do their work. Many of them might even tell you that they don’t even pay for internet anymore because it is free in so many places. Malls, theaters, stores, and even major events all now offer free wi-fi because the know it will draw more people there but also it helps bring attention online if they want to tweet or post a great moment they had online. Bottom line – want to ensure people are happy at any event you put on? Make sure there is free wi-fi.
Free National Wi-Fi Movement
Awhile back there was unexpected news that the US government was working on a plan to create a national super Wi-Fi network that would allow anyone to gain free internet access (Obama Reveals plans for national Wi-Fi plans, FCC proposes plan free wifi for everyone in the U.S., What Would Happen If America Got Free, ‘Nationwide’ WiFi? Google Wins, Carriers Lose). Anyone that uses the internet for valid and productive reasons understands how such an idea would change things dramatically for growth in technology and innovation. So who would be against such a great idea? Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple were all in favor of such an idea and even offered to help build the infrastructure. The wireless phone companies, on the other hand, were quick to file suit to prevent such an action of coming about. So why would they want to do this if it means helping innovation and technology grow? Easy, it would dramatically cut out their bread-and-butter of making money. You think people actually talk on their phones now-a-days? Ha!
Remember the whole point of doing business, in any form, is to make money from the products and services you provide. If you can not make money off of that, in some way, then why run a business? Don’t fool yourself about non-profits if that idea is lingering in your head right now. Creating a national free public wi-fi would kill many phone companies because they make their money off of their wireless service. There are many apps now that allow you to make calls over the internet for free instead of through voice-communication channels. We also have apps that let you txt for free, so if all you need is a wi-fi connection and the government is able to provide it then who in the world would want to be signed up with a phone carrier? The problem with that is that most phones in the US are all chipped to certain carrier’s wireless networks. If you buy a phone from Sprint then that phone usually only works on the Sprint network. There are phones that work on all networks but not as easy to find in stores but there are plenty online to buy.
If you are still wondering what happened to the government wanting to build this amazing and much-needed wi-fi network, well, they decided not to do it. It would literally cripple the wireless carriers because no one would sign up for service with them anymore. There would be no more phone bills to pay every month but remember with such a service, someone has to pay for the infrastructure and maintenance so where would that money come from? All the phone companies are the ones that maintain the networks that people use to communicate online so if they are not making money then it would be tough for there to be any reason to ensure high quality service can still be provided.
Google Provides a Bridge
Project Fi is similar to what some apps already do, they rely on the networks to piggyback off of and carry their signal where ever they go. These free apps let you chat and make free phone calls using wi-fi networks. How the service works is you make a call and it will connect to either the Sprint, T-Mobile network, or free wi-fi network, which ever has the better signal and let you txt, call, and more all for the same cost. Cellular data usage you pay for so for 1GB it costs an additional $10; 2GB, $20; and so on. For any data that you do not use you will receive a credit back on your account. The rise in free wi-fi locations shows that such a program would gain more attention because the cost for using this would be so much lower than the average cost of an individual plan, which stands at around $70 now. Infact, a user could be on a call, meanwhile the signal could be only using free wi-fi spots if there are enough in the area to support it, so the cost of that call and any data transmitted would be free. Oh and did I mention? There are no contracts involved for this service.
The downside right now is that only people with Nexus 6 phones can use the service so that prevents this program from gaining more customers. The reason for that is because Nexus 6 is Google’s phone so it makes sense to start with that but in terms of gaining more users, Google will need to expand to more phones plus you also have to get an invite in order to join the network. You can visit fi.google.com for the invite. This type of service is really more about pay for what you use rather than pay for everything even if you don’t use everything. Right now phone companies are paying attention because they know that if Google expands, it will cut into their margins big time.
Of course regional phone carriers have already started to look into the service of cellular to wi-fi systems which would help people save money on their phone bills while still being able to access the internet.
Google has laid out their plan very easily if they plan on becoming their own wireless carry. They offer one of the top OS Android platforms for phones and tablets, now they have their own internet service with Google Fiber, and you can even get your own free phone number with Google Voice, and now they just need their own wireless service and, instead of building their own they are using pre-existing ones, but who’s to say what Google Fiber is really up to.
In the meantime you can enjoy another option in the vast landscape of smartphones and service options if you are considering switching. Just remember since Google is not offering any contracts in exchange for low prices on their phones you will need to pay the total prices, unless you can pass a credit-check then you will have two years to pay off the phone, so that should tell you these phones are not cheap ($649 for a 32GB version).
Oh and I for one really think that we need a national free super wi-fi because that would increase innovation 100 fold easily.