Google Trials VoLTE Support For Project Fi Wireless Customers

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Things have been relatively quiet for Google’s Project Fi for the past few months. When we last visited the MVNO in early October, Google rolled out family plans for the service, which uses a combination of Wi-Fi, and Sprint/T-Mobile/U.S. Cellular mobile networks for voice/data coverage depending on which provider can give you the strongest signal.

Recently, Google has been upgrading Project Fi to support Voice over LTE (VoLTE) when connected to T-Mobile’s cellular voice network (Sprint and U.S. Cellular don’t currently support VoLTE). Right now, VoLTE is only enabled for a “subset of Project Fi users”, but should be rolled out to everyone once Google is able to work out all the kinks and validate that performance is consistent for all subscribers.

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According to Alena, Project Fi Community Manager, VoLTE enables higher call quality, allows faster data browsing while on a call, and hastens the setup of a phone call. “You can tell you're making a VoLTE call because your signal indicator will continue to display LTE instead of falling to H [HSPA] when you make or receive a call,” adds Alena.

Google first opened the doors to Project Fi in 2015, launching with Sprint and T-Mobile for cellular coverage. In 2016, U.S. Cellular was added to the mix. The Fi Basics plan starts at $20 per month and gives you unlimited domestic talk/text and unlimited international texting. Data can then be added to your plan at a cost of $10 per gigabyte. So, a plan that includes 5GB of data would cost you a total of $70 per month. However, if you were to only use 2GB during your billing cycle, you would receive a bill credit for $30.

Project Fi is currently supported on the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Pixel and Pixel XL.