1. Originalloverman's Avatar
    GOOGLE’S Project Fi, offers a long list of modern day perks. It automatically moves phones between traditional cellular networks and the WiFi wireless networks inside homes and businesses. Once on WiFi, you can still make calls and send texts. And you can pay for all this in small, flat, monthly fees—avoiding the sort of inflated, strings-attached pricing that so often accompanies our cell services.

    But the most interesting perk is that the service uses two different wireless carriers—T-Mobile and Sprint—and you don’t have to pick between them. As you move from place to place, Project Fi will not only move you from cellular to WiFi and back again. It will move you between T-Mobile and Sprint, depending on whose signal is the strongest in your particular location.

    “The unique thing is that you’re no longer tied to a network. You can go from a Sprint tower to a T-Mobile tower and back to a Sprint tower. That’s groundbreaking. It gives customers so much more freedom,” says Robert Schouwenburg, the chief operating officer of mobile hotspot startup Karma, which has negotiated a deal with Sprint similar to Google’s.

    At the moment, Google’s service is only available on the Nexus 6, the company’s flagship Android phone. But it points to a new world where the big wireless carriers—Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and the rest—are pushed even further into the background of our daily lives. It’s a world where we won’t really pay attention to what network we’re on, what brand name it might carry. We’ll just rely on our phone to move us onto the network that can best serve us at any given moment. And isn’t that a world we all want?

    Even before Project Fi, the world of cell service was moving in this direction. Apple’s new iPad Air 2 tablet includes what’s called a virtual SIM card, a piece of software that mimics the hardware cards needed to interact with a wide range of cellular networks. Basically, a virtual SIM means you can test out multiple wireless carriers and choose which you like best. And as time goes on, you can readily drop one carrier for another. More so than any device before it, the iPad Air 2 is independent of any particular carrier.

    BLACKBERRY ahead of the game.

    Movirtu’s Virtual SIM platform allows separate billing for voice, data and messaging on each number being used on a device. Employees can thus switch between business and personal profiles without carrying multiple devices or SIM cards, allowing for separate charges to be billed to the company and the employee. They can also switch between profiles for calls, data and messages, even when they are on their home network or roaming.

    BlackBerry plans to offer these Virtual SIM capabilities through mobile operators. That being said, companies that have the BlackBerry Enterprise Service platform will be able to apply IT policies to business numbers without impacting the usability of the device for personal use.
    BlackBerry says it will support the deployment of Movirtu technology by mobile operators “on all major smartphone operating systems.” This means Android and iOS, in addition to BlackBerry OS.

    Now, Google is taking this agnosticism a step further. It automatically drops one carrier for another at any given moment, whenever it can get you a better signal. The Nexus 6 includes what’s called a “multi-profile SIM”—a hardware card that can handle multiple carriers. But Google could readily extend its setup with a virtual SIM that accommodates even more networks. What’s more, with its virtual SIM already in place, Apple could mimic Google, offering devices that automatically switch between carrier networks, instead of asking you to choose.

    This kind of setup will only become more prevalent now that carriers have agreed—under the oversight of the FCC—to “unlock” any phone that consumers have paid for in full. As people embrace their freedom to choose, handset makers will make virtual SIMs the norm.

    Yes, automatic network switching won’t happen unless the carriers agree to it. But two—T-Mobile and Sprint—have already embraced Google’s new mobile world. And as companies like Apple and Google keep expanding the options on their devices, others handset makers will follow and, eventually, so will other carriers.

    Google’s Long Game
    With Project Fi, this is exactly what Google is trying to accomplish. Judging from the cost of Google’s data service, Schouwenburg says, the company’s margins are incredibly thin (he should know: he offers a similar data service on a tiny “hotspot” device that lets you connect laptops and other devices to the internet via Sprint). Google isn’t trying to make money on Project Fi. It’s trying to show others how this kind of thing can be done.

    And others will indeed follow. In fact, Schouwenburg says, Karma is interested in adopting a model similar to Google’s Project Fi. Today, Karma’s wireless hotspot only works on the Sprint network, but ideally, he says, the company wants the device to automatically move between carrier networks, depending on who’s offering the best signal.

    Which really is just stating the obvious. Of course Karma wants this kind of thing, as does everyone who uses a mobile device. More network options mean better service at any given location. That makes every phone and tablet easier to use. Some carriers may stand in the way of this new world—-“that’s the pain point,” Schouwenburg says—but not for long.

    Send from the amazing powers of the  Z30
    04-24-15 08:03 AM
  2. Originalloverman's Avatar
    Why isn't BlackBerry capitalizing on this yet again by the looks of it, it seems that others will take credit for something BlackBerry already was involved in

    Send from the amazing powers of the  Z30
    04-24-15 08:06 AM
  3. onlybuggin's Avatar
    I understand the significance of what the OP bring up. However, I'm not sure this is new or even novel, only becoming mainstream.

    1) In the early days of cell service (at least in my area), the major networks had contiguous coverage only in city areas. Areas in between were covered by Cingular except for Bell Atlantic (now verizon). So it didnt matter who your carrier was outside of their coverage are, you were on Cingular (and paying roaming fees of course).

    2) I'm quite sure that I have heard of some low cost cell providers ( not carriers) who have been what Google is doing now for a while I'm that they would "ride" on what ever signal was available. Now I believe they only offered voice and maybe text serrvices but it the same technology.

    Posted via CB10
    04-24-15 09:28 AM
  4. Ment's Avatar
    Blackberry has no weight with carriers at least here in the States so to the extent BB Virtual Sim has to have agreements with them that would be the stumbling block. Apple's virtual sim met the same fate. They didn't come to agreements first and ATT locked it.
    04-24-15 01:03 PM
  5. AnimalPak200's Avatar
    Too bad they couldn't convince Verizon and AT&T.

    Now that would be sweet.

    Posted via CB10
    04-24-15 01:09 PM
  6. Troy Tiscareno's Avatar
    This is exactly the kind of thing the carriers, especially Verizon and AT&T, have been desperately fighting against from the beginning: being a simple "dumb pipe" for data. Dumb pipes can make profits, but they have no where near the profit potential that they would (and have) when the carrier itself provides you with many of your services. This is why, say, Verizon had their own subscription-based navigation app, and it's own music service. They don't want you going to Apple or Google or BB for any of this - they want you to be Verizon's customer.

    Unfortunately for them, the carriers have always had pretty terrible services at very high prices, and so customers simply don't want these services from their carriers. That's why Apple and Google have been so successful. And now even the raw services of phone, text, and data are becoming a commodity, and that's really going to impact the carriers' ability to gouge customers (and reap big profits). I promise you that people at Verizon and AT&T are burning the midnight oil trying to come up with a way to prevent this at every possible turn, even though the tide is steadily moving against them.
    Gatmyer and MarsupilamiX like this.
    04-24-15 11:01 PM
  7. rthonpm's Avatar
    AT&T and Verizon still have the advantage of ubiquitous coverage. While Google has an interesting concept with a device that can span GSM and CDMA networks, they're saddled with using two mobile networks with spotty coverage. Both cover the areas where tech bloggers seem to live so the reviews will likely be good.

    I don't know if I'd trust Google with all of my mobile information but it's a start at disruption of an industry that needs more of it. This is a much better step than even T-Mobile's Un-carrier strategy which is more noise to distract from their weak coverage map than anything that really changes the mobile landscape.

    The real thing we need, in the US especially, is the death of GSM and CDMA. VoLTE is getting us there, but it's going to be a slow process.

    Posted via CB10
    04-25-15 10:24 AM
  8. ominaxe's Avatar
    It's about time this is becoming mainstream.
    05-06-15 10:20 PM
  9. anon(55900)'s Avatar

    This says blackberry Passport can be configured and operated fine using Google Project Fi.
    10-25-16 08:27 PM
  10. Allan Milo's Avatar
    I 've used Sprint and more recently, T-Mobile. Their network coverage didn't cover enough for my needs. I'd need a lot of incentive to switch back to using their networks. So when they say 'low cost', what are we talking actual here?

    Posted via CB10
    10-25-16 09:06 PM
  11. anon(55900)'s Avatar
    I'm on PFi currently on my Nexus 6, It works for me, also there is a thrid carrier added since conception, US Cellular has been added.
    10-25-16 09:30 PM
  12. Jack Chin's Avatar
    I think I'll wait for Project 'Fo'.

    Posted via CB10
    10-26-16 09:06 AM

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