Users of Googleâ€™s phone service will soon be able to purchase data-only plans for their tablets and other mobile devices. The pay-as-you-go service, known as Project Fi, will allow users to purchase SIM cards that can be used with the iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 9 and Galaxy Tab S.
â€œOnce youâ€™ve ordered and received a data-only SIM, just pop it into a compatible device, follow the instructions, and voila: instant wireless connectivity,â€ Laura Holmes, senior product manager for Project Fi, wrote in a blog post on the Project Fi help forum yesterday.
Global Coverage, Flat Rate
For existing Project Fi customers, tablet devices will share the same data budgets as their main phones. Customers can add up to nine data-only SIM cards to their accounts, and can use the same SIM cards on multiple devices. Unfortunately, users wonâ€™t be able to tether from devices using the data-only SIMs.
As with Googleâ€™s phone plans, users will be charged a flat $10/GB for data and be charged only for the data they use and refunded for any data they donâ€™t, Holmes said. Customers will see the cost of any data they donâ€™t use refunded to their accounts at a rate of one cent per unused megabyte. Like the voice and data plan, no service contract is required, and there is no additional cost for the data-only SIM cards if users are already Project Fi customers.
Project Fi also offers international coverage in more than 120 countries, with the same data costs throughout the world, something that could be particularly appealing to customers who travel abroad frequently. However, the coverage map is slightly different from the one for Project Fiâ€™s voice and data service.
â€œAs the number and variety of connected devices continues to grow, so should the number of wireless options,â€ Holmes said. Beyond the initial tablet models they named, Google said it will eventually extend support to any tablet or device compatible with T-Mobileâ€™s network.
No Sprint Cell Network This Time
Google first introduced the Project Fi service in April as an alternative voice and data service for mobile phones using the Sprint and T-Mobile cellular networks. The service also relies heavily on using Wi-Fi networks to keep costs down.
The voice and data plan starts at $20 per month, and includes unlimited domestic talk and text, unlimited international texts, and the ability to use a phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot. Unlike the phone service, however, the data-only SIM cards will only use T-Mobileâ€™s cellular service instead of combining it with Sprintâ€™s.
The data-only SIM options will be rolling out gradually, with existing customers seeing the option appear on their account pages in the next several days. Customers can also request an invitation to the serviceâ€™s early access program.