Google’s Project Fi Suffers SMS Outage

Google’s Project Fi users were hit with an SMS outage earlier in the week. The issue left subscribers without the ability to send or receive SMS or MMS messages. Subscribers hit with the outage began reporting the issue at 3:50 PM. The problem was quickly resolved.

Google noted that although the issue was resolved, it will take time for the SMS backlog to fully clear. The backlog caused a severe delay in messages being sent to users’ phones following the outage.

Project Fi’s support team quickly resolves many of the issues that company has, but some of the issues stem from the carriers that the company uses on their MVNO network. Project Fi uses Sprint, US Cellular and T-Mobile as their primary carriers, although none of the carriers reported SMS outages at the time.

Kelly, a Project Fi Community Manager, took to Reddit to ask the community to keep her posted on any issues they had. She acknowledged that the company was aware of the SMS issue and that they would keep the community posted on Reddit.

Users expressed their frustrations with the Community Manager, asking why there isn’t an alert system that warns users when key functions are not working properly on the network.

Project Fi, which uses an MVNO network to offer a pay-as-you-go type of mobile option, faced major backlash in January when the company’s roaming networks would disconnect after 30 – 60 seconds of inactivity. T-Mobile US also suffered the same disconnect problem, leading many users to believe that Project Fi’s issues were caused by the T-Mobile network.

The outage was long-lasting, with users from across the world, including Hong Kong and Japan, claiming that they couldn’t use the service for as long as 16 to 24 hours.

Project Fi’s roaming features were expanded to 170 countries recently.

The company is also under question after the announcement of a Sprint / T-Mobile merger that is underway. Users are concerned that the merger will impact Project Fi’s pricing. Mergers in the industry often lead to higher prices and fewer options for consumers.

Project Fi uses both networks, searching for the best signal and changing to the network that offers the best service in a particular area. The service offers up to 6GB of data that is paid at $10 per 1GB before going into the unlimited option, where no additional charges are assessed after the 6 GB usage threshold.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn't know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.