Much digital ink has been metaphorically spilled over Google’s new venture, Project Fi, which uses traditional LTE connections alongside Wi-Fi hotspots for mobile calling and data use. Despite the avalanche of coverage, however, the companies in line to compete with Project Fi are not intimidated by the search giant’s move into their territory. Instead, MVNOs like Republic Wireless, Scratch Wireless, and FreedomPop feel as if their strategy has been validated by Project Fi, and that Wi-Fi-first systems are the wave of the future.
Currently, Republic, which offers three tiers of service, works only with a handful of Motorola Mobility smartphones, including the Moto X. Scratch targets the value consumer, offering free text, voice, and data when a user is on Wi-Fi, and unlimited cellular voice and data for $1.99 per day. Meanwhile, FreedomPop has recently begun to offer monthly rollover data plans for $3.50. As for Google and Project Fi, perhaps Republic’s CEO David Morken said it best: “It’s like having a famous person move next door. You want to give them a warm welcome and hope they know how to be a good neighbor.”