Google Fi has updated its policies in response to COVID-19 crisis. Thus, customers will maintain full service up to 60 days from a missed billing date. Moreover, users will enjoy 30GB of full speed data instead of 15GB.
These updates are temporary. They aim to help Google Fi customers stay connected during the lockdown period. However, since the pandemic evolution is still unpredictable, the new policies may last for several months.
Beyond 30GB, users will have to pay an additional $10 per gigabyte. Otherwise, they get downgraded to the 2G speed of 256kbps.
To understand the capacity offered by this upgrade, let’s take the example of Youtube traffic: one 720p HD video consumes about 900MB per hour. So 30GB is equivalent to about 33 hours of HD videos.
Google Fi MVNO Model
Google Fi is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) launched by Google on March 7, 2016. It provides phone calls, short messaging, and mobile broadband services without deploying or operating the underlying networks.
In fact, the MVNO business model allows providers to lease the access to existing networks and offer communication services on top of them.
In that regard, Google Fi uses the networks of Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular to offer cellular and Wifi access to U.S. residents. It switches automatically between those networks depending on the speed and the signal strength.
This triple-network coverage gives it tremendous coverage, speed and quality advantages. Subscribers will always be able to get the best connection among the 3 networks depending on their location.
The Burden is at the Fixed Broadband Side
That said, Google Fi new policy will certainly help customers to stay connected during the stay-at-home period. However, while at home, users will rely more on the fixed broadband rather than mobile broadband.
This is already noticed in Ookla Speedtest statistics report. This latter shows a dramatic increase in the fixed broadband traffic since March 23. As for the mobile broadband traffic, the volume has remained almost similar.