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More details uncovered about Google’s upcoming wireless service

Project FiThanks to the sleuths over at Android Police, more details about Google’s upcoming wireless MVNO service have been made available today. The new information comes from an APK found in an unreleased system image for the Google Nexus 6 by Motorola that AP says has been independently verified with people at Google familiar with the company’s upcoming plans. The system image itself (LVY47H) is available at XDA and can be downloaded right now, although some users are reporting LTE connectivity issues.

In any case, the APK appears in both the filename Tycho.apk and the package, and is signed with a certificate that contains “nova” in one of the fields. The launcher icon contains the letters “fi,” for Project Fi, which might be a reference to “WiFi,” Google Fiber, or a combination of both, although this most likely isn’t the final name for the service.

Functionality within the APK appears to be standard: Customers can view bills, access usage stats, change plans, and other similar tasks. The app can also be used to activate service, request a new number, initiate a transfer, pause service, or close your account – the only caveat is you still need to sign up for service on another website that is not referenced in the app, that no one has been able to uncover quite yet.

In terms of how service plans will look, it appears that users will be able to select the amount of data that they need each month – if they don’t use it all, they will be credited for the unused amount at the end of the month. And if they end up needing more, they can just be bumped up to the next tier at the standard rate, without having to pay and overage charges. In other words, it seems like it will look similar to Ting. Talk and text also appear to be a flat rate that customers will be able to activate if they need either or both services.

One interesting aspect is the ability to share data across multiple lines and devices, something that’s not very common in the MVNO space. There will also be support for data-only devices, as well. Interestingly, the app also appears to allow users to switch phones within the app, without having to change SIM cards – and auto-switching between Sprint and T-Mobile also appears to be in the works.

While the Nexus 6 appears to be the only phone available right now, customers will be able to finance it over a series of months, similar to what is available on all the big carriers right now. The trade-off is that Google will also track your phone calls for advertising purposes, as well.

Still interested in signing up? We’ll let you know more about this as soon as we do.

[Android Police]


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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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