Google loves innovating. It's not scared to make mistakes or try something that may fail. This is perhaps a little easier in some ways when you have billions in the bank, but nonetheless it's a common theme to trial new technologies and effectively Google-fy them.
Taking the Google-fication process to new heights is a technology called MVNO, which stands for "Mobile Virtual Network Operator" This is a Mobile Network Carrier company like Vodafone or Spark for example, but differs in that it still uses the traditional carriers network through which to deliver the mobile services. Hence the virtual bit.
"it's in line with Google's core strategy: be the first brand you see when connecting to the Internet"
Normally I would take a new Google Product with a pinch of salt, given how many they "innovate" annually, but this one seems to have some key features which make it stand out from the pack of trials and tribulations.
1. Its not new. This project has been in development for quite some time. 3 years in this particular guise, but longer if it is considered an extension of the Google Voice project.
2. It's progressing It's just passed another milestone in its development being given an official title moving it from a project to product (though is still in some form of Beta form at present.) Aptly, the name is Google-Fi. How fitting. The logo it has been given is within the design pack of key Google Products, so this also points to a more serious commitment from the company to pursue this further. (Think, Google Pay as an example).
3. It expands outside of Android and supports Apple IOS. Though still has a few hoops to jump to get it operational with your IOS device.
4. Its pricing model is very attractive/disruptive. It has a very attractive pricing model at $20 for a phone line, and $10 per Gig of data used, capped at $60 under a program it calls Bill Protection. So, clearly this has a very clear target market, and one that would be very quick to shift to a service like this if on trend.
5. It's inline with Google's core strategy: Be the first brand you see when connecting to the internet. With an offering like this, they can continue to ensure the first brand you see is Google when you turn on your phone or connect to the Net.
6. It's globally focused. Roam for the same price as home could be a key pull factor for business travelers - i.e. C level execs.
So this is starting to show some signs of progression and with 5G services also looming, this will only further fuel the potential for companies like Google to start offering services that connect them more deeply with their target audiences online.
So where can you buy this? Well perhaps I should have mentioned a little earlier but this is not available currently in New Zealand, it's on trial in the United States only. But if it proves to be successful, expect to see it down under in no time.