Almost every detail about Google's wireless service might have just leaked

sundar pinchai

Reuters/Elijah Nouvelage

Sundar Pichai.

Google said last month that it plans to build a small wireless service that would allow it to function sort of like Verizon, AT&T, or any other carrier.

Google's Sundar Pichai said at Mobile World Congress that the company would make its own wireless service "at a small scale" after The Information's Amir Efrati initially reported Google's plans.

The company plans to become a mobile virtual network operator, or MVNO, which means that it would buy spectrum from a big carrier like AT&T and then re-package the service and sell it to users under Google's brand.
Now, blog Android Police has unearthed some information about how exactly the company could execute that plan.

Android Police discovered an unreleased Google app called Tycho within firmware for the Nexus 6 that was uploaded to a website The firmware likely ended up there by accident, since it was taken down soon after. Android Police says it was part of an internal build that was meant to be distributed to testers only.

Based on the information discovered, here's what we now know about Google's mobile service:

  • The service is being called "Project Fi" internally, and it looks like the app is being called "Tycho." These are likely just code names being used within Google, and may not reflect the service's final title.
  • Here's what the logo could look like:
  • The app accompanying Google's wireless service lets you take care of billing, view data usage, and managing details about your plan.
  • You can even change your phone number, close an account, or activate your account from within the app.
  • The service seems to be built around the idea that you only pay for what you use. The reports says users will be credited for data they don't use at the end of a cycle.
  • If you go over your data allotment, you'll be charged a flat rate for however many gigabytes you've used in addition to your plan.
  • There's a flat rate that enables talk and text, and data is charged by the gigabyte.
  • It's also possible to be charged for "Extras," but it's unclear what that means. Android Police speculates that this could be a reference to Google Play Store purchases, if you choose to have it billed to the same account you use for the wireless service.
  • You'll be able to set up multiple phone lines and share data across devices, like you would with any other carrier.
  • It looks like you can switch your plan to different phones without having to change a SIM card through an option called "Make primary device."
  • The service may be based on Sprint and T-Mobile's networks.
  • You'll probably be able to use your Google Voice number for your account.
  • Here's what icons within the app could look like:

These are some of the most interesting and basic details about how Google's wireless plan will probably work. Android Police's story is full of additional tidbits and the strings of code from which it obtained this information.

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