One of the biggest barriers to switching over to Project Fi is now gone.
Though it didn’t land precisely with the Pixel phone launch, Google has announced a much-anticipated “group plan” option for Project Fi. Much like the base Project Fi service, the group plan is pretty darn simple — you can add up to five additional people to your existing Project Fi account, and manage their data and billing in one central place.
Any current Project Fi account can quickly add more people to form a group, whether they’re altogether new or are already Project Fi customers, so there isn’t any additional configuration or change to the plan. There are no additional commitments or contracts for the group plan, so people can come and go on a monthly basis if you’d like.
This may be the time to join Project Fi.
Additional group members join your plan at $ 15 per month (versus $ 20 for the main line) for the “Fi Basics” of unlimited calls and texts, and then data usage is of course handled on a per-device basis at $ 10 per gigabyte, with the usual refund for unused data and no additional overages for over-consuming. Each line gets the same great Project Fi benefits like international data usage, cheaper international calls and Wi-Fi calling, of course. The billing is rolled up into a single monthly payment for the account “manager” (primary account holder) to pay.
The manager can see data usage on a per-person basis, as well as together for the group, and can set monthly data limits ahead of time or pause data usage quickly if one person is going overboard. Individual members can view their own data usage and set alerts for themselves as well.
Of course you’re still limited to Pixels and Nexuses.
The addition of a group plan may be enough to get a lot of people to try out Project Fi with their new Pixel or Pixel XL, as this was one of the most requested features. Of course Project Fi is still limited to Google’s own phones, though — you can buy a new Pixel through Fi, but Google is also continuing Nexus 6P and 5X sales at discounted prices for those who want a cheaper option or perhaps a phone for their children.
Having used Project Fi myself for an individual plan before, I’ve been wanting to recommend Fi to other friends and family members — at this point it’s going to get a lot easier knowing that they will be able to group up and use it in a family just as they do their current carrier.