Google’s wireless network has been rumored for several months now, with the most recent report claiming that it hopes to offer free international roaming. Android Police has now dug into a leaked app from Google that appears to pair with its wireless network. The app offers information regarding the payment structure, activation, and more.
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The app itself is codenamed Tycho, while the app code also makes references to “Nova,” the rumored name of Google’s MNVO. At this point, it appears that Tycho relates to the software Google is developing for its MVNO, while Nova relates to the hardware infrastructure it is developing. Finally, the app also makes multiple references to “Project Fi,” which Android Police believes is just a temporary name for the service. When it launches, the MVNO is expected to simply be called Google Wireless.
The app itself appears to be very similar to that of apps from other wireless carriers. Customers will be able to pay bills and manage usage, as well as adjust plan details. Perhaps somewhat notably, Tycho also includes the ability to activate service and request a new number directly from the app. This, compared to the app’s of other wireless carriers, is somewhat progressive.
Next, the leaked app reveals that Google plans to charge users by the gigabyte for its service. If a user purchases too much data at the beginning of a month, the leftover amount will rollover to the next month. Should a user go over their allotted amount, more can be purchased for the same price per gigabyte. Calling and texting U.S. based numbers is free, with a small fee associated with international communications.
As you would expect, Google’s MVNO supports multiple lines and shared data, as well. Adding a line simply adds a flat rate to your monthly bill. All devices can access the same pool of data. There’s also support for data-only service on devices like tablets. Project Fi also appears to have support for switching between phones without swapping SIM cards. Users can have all calls and texts rerouted to another phone automatically with Project Fi.
Earlier this year, it was reported that Nova would allow users to switch between T-Mobile and Sprint for data. The leaked app makes references to both of those carriers, and also to auto-switching, but things are still vague at this point. But given the earlier report and this, albeit small, new evidence, it seems likely that Nova will in fact support auto-switching.
Other various tidbits include the fact that Project Fi will allow users to port their Google Voice number to the service and also finance the purchase of a Nexus 6. An earlier rumor claimed that Google’s MVNO would only support the Nexus 6 and this app doesn’t confirm or deny that, it simply offers up the information that only the Nexus 6 will be available for financing through Google. Finally, Google appears to be ready to track usage with Project Fi, as well. Just as it does with Gmail, YouTube, and Search, Google will track call history and use that information to provide you with more poignant ads.
It’s still unclear when Project Fi/Nova/Tycho/Google Wireless will launch to the public, although a Google I/O 2015 launch seems likely.