Update, June 28: Support for US Cellular has now been enabled for Project Fi users, promising better coverage. An update to the Google Fi app is required to take advantage of US Cellular connections – get it in Google Play.
Original post, June 8: For those not in the know, Project Fi is Google’s wireless service that lets users hop between partner carriers and wifi networks. The process is automatic, meaning users on Project Fi plans are always on the fastest available network. Google reports that subscribers to the program are connected 99% of the time and 95% of that time they are on LTE. Now Google has announced on the official Android blog that US Cellular has come aboard the project, increasing connectivity for users across the 23 states the network spans.
US Cellular will be adding its heft to Project Fi’s other partners Sprint and T-Mobile. This new coverage will be rolled out to subscribers gradually over the next few weeks, so if you’re not seeing a change in coverage yet, just give it time.
Project Fi aims to bring users quality cellular service without its subscribers paying for data that they don’t use. Unlimited voice and messaging comes for twenty bucks a month, and data is parceled out in 1GB chunks for $10 apiece. Unused data in these chunks is credited to the user’s next invoice at the same rate. Voice and data services are only available on Nexus smartphones, giving owners of these devices yet another reason to be smug. Supported products are the Nexus 6, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P. Data-only plans are available for the Nexus 7 and Nexus 9 as well as for a handful of non-Nexus devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab S.
What are your thoughts regarding US Cellular joining up with Google’s virtual network operator? Since the carrier is only regional, it won’t affect every Project Fi user, but those in the area should expect a bump in coverage. Give us your thoughts in the comments below!