Google’s hybrid Wi-Fi and cellular phone service Project Fi is eyeing the lucrative family market with its introduction of reduced-price group plans this week.
Project Fi is still offering its $20 Fi Basics plan – which gives customers unlimited domestic talk and text and unlimited international texting with cellular data for $10 per GB. But the service is now also offering group plans that allow customers to tack on additional lines to the Basics plan for an additional $15 per month each.
The move comes just ahead of the launch of Google’s new Pixel smartphone, which was unveiled last week. The device will be one of only a handful of Google phones that come with Project Fi compatibility built in.
Google’s decision to target families follows a broader industry trend among wireless carriers, who are aiming to gain subscribers with a higher value proposition.
In September, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure explained the carrier’s decision to focus on wooing Verizon’s family subscribers:
“A prime customer will stay with you about two and half times more than a sub-prime customer,” Claure said. “So there’s a reason why our marketing campaign targets one specific carrier, which is the biggest one…That is because Verizon has a large amount of families that are prime. And if you can capture that, which is what we want – prime families are more than individuals with a single line – you start seeing the business provide a very different life customer value and profitability changes.”
While Samsung’s recent Note 7 recall woes and decision to ultimately cease production of that device have given Google’s Pixel an opening, it remains to be seen whether customers will be willing to jump off their traditional wireless carrier to give Fi a try.