Google’s new pay-for-what-you-use Project Fi phone service now has a new feature plus a new SIM card: One for adding data to tablets.
New Project Fi SIM cards will soon be available for an initial five tablets although Google says that any slate equipped with a radio compatible with T-Mobile’s network may work.
The iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4, Nexus 7, Nexus 9 and Galaxy Tab S are the first four officially supported tablets for this new feature.
Customers who already have the Project Fi can order a data-only SIM card through their accounts. Users will not be charged for the SIM card while data usage is billed at Project Fi’s standard rate, which is $10 per GB of usage during a billing cycle.
The tablet’s data usage will be included in the same billing account as the standard, voice, text and data plan under Project Fi but the data consumed by the tablet in a month will be listed separately from the data on the smartphone. And like the phone service, if you don’t use your full data allotment on your tablet, you won’t pay for it. Google credits Project Fi accounts monthly so you’re only paying for what you actually use.
The proposed $10 deal per month isn’t likely the best deal out there as there are other plans that offer better terms such as the AT&T family plan which includes 15 GB of shared LTE data.
Still, some Project Fi users may appreciate the data-only SIM card offering. They could certainly use their handset with a Project Fi SIM card to tether a tablet over Wi-Fi but if their phone battery dies, their tablet has no mobile broadband connection. Road warriors may appreciate the new SIM card as well since it provides data in more than 120 countries around the world.
The Project Fi data service also only allows 9 data specific SIM cards per Fi account. Setting it up isn’t also as smooth as someone can hope for as you’ll have to tweak the device’s APN settings to make the SIM card and Fi network recognizable. This has to been done whether you use an Android or iOS device.