Yesterday, T-Mobile’s CEO John Legere released a blog post that praised Google’s efforts to innovate in the wireless space, framing Google’s Project Fi in very Uncarrier terms: “Anything that shakes up the industry status quo is a good thing – for both US wireless customers and T-Mobile,” he writes.
It’s an interesting read that I highly recommend, but it also reveals some interesting details about Project Fi that aren’t immediately apparent on Google’s own site. Namely, Project Fi will not launch with HD Voice – or if it does, it will use a different implementation that T-Mobile currently does across its nationwide footprint. Additionally, Legere says that Project Fi won’t offer “next-gen Wi-Fi Calling,” which simply means seamless handoffs between LTE and WiFi.
At first glance, the latter seems contradictory. After all, Google states, “If you start a call over Wi-Fi and walk outside, Project Fi detects when your signal becomes weak and seamlessly moves your call over to a cell network to keep the conversation going.” So Google says that WiFi to cellular will work – perhaps what T-Mobile means is that cellular to WiFi will only work for T-Mobile customers, and not the other way around. In either case, we’ll know soon enough.
Interestingly, Legere states that it was T-Mobile who enabled Google to offer its international roaming feature that is available in 120 different countries around the world, not Google itself negotiating with each carrier: “…we’ve worked with Google so they can offer up international roaming in over 100 countries and destinations, and we’ve shared the Un-carrier playbook for providing industry-leading customer service in wireless.”
And perhaps as a thinly veiled jab at Sprint, Legere also stated,”Since the cellular connection will be made based on network speed, we expect to capture the largest share of traffic coming from Project Fi customers.”
Legere’s post reveals some interesting details about the behind-the-scenes cooperation between T-Mobile and Google. Now, if only those invites would start going out![T-Mobile]