Since its launch, Google’s Project Fi network has made some major advances. After dropping invites, Fi has added new carriers and awesome features such as data-only SIMs, but one thing it has always lacked is a family plan. That feature has been highly requested by many users, and according to some snippets of code found within a recent update to the Project Fi app (via Android Police), it may finally be coming…
There’s a lot of evidence found in these snippets, including that Fi’s group plans will allow account owners to pay for a plan, device payments included, and have control over group members.
The first feature account owners/managers (referred to as admins) will have is the ability to set a data allowance for the group. It’s unclear if this means that all group members will share a single bucket of data, or if each member will have its own data allotment. Along with that, it appears administrators will also be able to get data usage alerts from users who have used more data than budgeted. This leads me to believe that the data allowance is on a per member basis, but again, we don’t know for sure just yet.
Admins can also shut off data to specific users until the end of a billing cycle, for a specific amount of time, or until it has been manually reactivated. Admins will also be able to allow the user to turn data back on for themselves if permitted. Keep in mind that this only applies to data, so voice and text will still presumably be active.
Of course, admins will also be able to close down an account if needed. If a user is removed from a group by an admin, it appears they will be able to convert their group account into an individual plan or switch their number to another carrier. Group members will also have the ability to separate their account from the group into an individual plan, however, in either situation, the group manager will be responsible for any expenses previously on that account.
As of right now, this is about all we know regarding Fi’s group plans. That said, seeing that we already have this code within the Project Fi app, we should be hearing more from Google soon regarding these plans, perhaps at the company’s October 4th event. It’s also about time that Project Fi lose the “Project” moniker, don’t you think?
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