Do you know about Google Fi cellular service?

A cell phone needs a service plan if you want it to work when you’re not connected to Wi-Fi. In the U.S. most people get a plan from the likes of Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile. We use Google Fi as our service plan. There are 3 main reasons we like Google Fi:

  1. Because it works just the same overseas (even in the Maldives) as it does at home
    • High Speed Internet
    • No extra fees
    • Nothing to set up before you go – it works as soon as your plane lands and it can find the local cell tower
  2. On the Unlimited Plus plan, we get 50GB of high-speed data and we have unlimited tethering. With many company’s plans, when you hotspot (tether) your phone you are limited to the amount of data you can use on the hotspot.
  3. There’s no contract, it’s month to month. Our cost for 2 lines is $110/month – $55 each. We can change it at any time, choosing to go down to the $18/month “Flexible” plan when we’re home and don’t need the data.

When we traveled to the Maldives in the Indian ocean, and then later to Italy for a month, we depended on our Google Fi cellular data plan to give us Internet, and it worked great. Now we’re getting ready to pack the RV for a short trip and we no longer have a dedicated hotspot device to provide Internet to our computers. No worries – Jim’s Pixel phone, with unlimited Google Fi service, can be a hotspot for the rest of our devices.


Google Fi primarily uses T-Mobile towers, so if T-Mobile is not good in your area, Google Fi may not be for you. Also, if you have an iPhone, you need to understand that it is adapted to the Google Fi network and does not have all the features that a “designed for Fi” device (like the Pixel) has. iPhones work on the Google Fi network, but cannot be used as a hotspot. Lastly, Google Fi is meant to be used primarily in the U.S. If you are out of the country for more than a year, you may get a letter something like this:

As a reminder, Fi’s Terms of Service requires you to use our service primarily in the United States (territories not included), and it looks like you’ve been predominantly using Fi abroad. Your international roaming data capabilities have been suspended, and will be reinstated once you start using Fi predominantly in the United States (territories not included). Your calls and texts have not been impacted.

Learn more

To see lots more detail and current updates, see Mobile Internet Resource Center: Google Fi

Also, see our “What Does This Button Do?” show, Episode 233 Cellular Phone and Data for International Travelers. If you decide to get it, here’s your link for $20 off Google Fi : .