Google Project Fi has updated their plans with a new feature that gives you unlimited data for $80 per month. The new feature is called Bill Protection and as Goolge explains it.. Bill Protection gives you the peace of mind of unlimited data when you need it without having to pay for it when you don’t.
Let me try and explain how Fi’s plans work and then what bill protection does. With Fi, you only pay for the data you use. When you sign up with Fi, you choose a plan. The least expensive plan is $30 plus tax and fees. You are paying $20 for unlimited talk and text and $10 for 1GB of data. If you use less than 1GB of data in a billing cycle they credit you back for the unused data. So for example, on my account I signed up for the $30 plan. If I only use 500MB of data, half of what I paid for, I’m credited $5 on my next bill. But if I use more than 1GB of data, I’ll pay for that data at an additional $10 per GB. Will this is nice if you don’t use too much data, once to start using more than 1GB of data, Fi can be more expensive that other prepaid wireless plans.
With Bill Protection, you’ll never pay more than $60 for unlimited data. So if you use more than 6GB of data, the extra data is free for the month. Note however that is $60 for data. You are still paying $20 per month for unlimited talk and text so your total bill is $80. But wait there is more. After you use up 15GB of data, Google says the speeds are reduced. So you still have data, but that data is slower. Now keep in mind, your only paying for the data you use. So if you don’t need all that extra data each month you are not paying for it.
Now $80 for an unlimited prepaid plan isn’t really that good a deal. And this plan isn’t really unlimited. Use more than 15GB of data and your speeds are reduced. The choice of the word unlimited here was poor. Just as other prepaid carriers learned most people consider slow data a limitation.
On the positive side, Project Fi supports tethering and mobile hotspot at no extra cost. So in theory, you should be able to get up to 15GB of data with hotspot for your laptop or tablet for $80. That is a bit better than other unlimited prepaid plans that don’t support hotspot or have lower limits on the amount of high speed data.
Finally, according to the article on engadget.com, Google has confirmed that the reduced speed on their data is 256Kbps. While slow, it’s faster than the reduced speeds offered by many other prepaid wireless companies. So while you won’t be streaming video at those speeds you should be able use email and basic apps.