Google wants YOU to use the Internet so that it can serve you ads, which is how it makes money. There. That's the raison d'être for Google Fiber, the high-speed internet service the search behemoth offers in a variety of cities it seemingly chose at random (as CNBC reports, Fiber is now expanding to 19 more cities in five metro areas like Salt Lake City, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham).
In that same vein, but this time on your phone and without building any of its own infrastructure, Google has announced a new wireless service, Project Fi. It could be a game-changer in the long run, but for now, it only changes the game if you have a Nexus 6, which statistically you probably don't. That's right, it only works on one phone.
As Time reports, Google isn't building cell towers for Project Fi anytime soon, if it decides to do so at all. Instead it will just be renting access to networks already operated by T-Mobile and Sprint, switching you back and forth between those carriers depending on which service is stronger wherever you are. Also, when it's available, service will shift to Wi-Fi for voice, an increasingly popular solution.
Right now, there's just a basic cell phone plan priced at $20 per month for unlimited talk and voice in the US, plus $.20 per minute international calling. Data plans are $10 for 1GB, and credit is returned for data you don't use.
But wait, without increasing infrastructure, how does Google achieve its goal of more people on the Internet being served more ads? One theory is that it's a nudge — even a shove — to big wireless carriers. You know, the ones who face limited competition and may end up pricing people (who could be served Google ads) out of the system.
No, the irony of Google as a heel-nipping underdog probably isn't lost on folks like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, either.