Three years ago, Google become virtual operator in the United States. In a beginning it came under the name Project Fi, that finally evolved to Google Fi, name with which it is known at present. So far, it does not operate in Europe, although this is something that could change soon.
The company has already registered the name Google Fi in Europe . An action that has led to many speculations about the possible arrival of this operator to the European market officially.
Google Fi works internationally in over 170 countries around the world with no additional cost for data use or texting, which is one of its biggest differentiators from other carriers. You can call at a flat rate of $0.20/min to any number while on the cellular networks abroad, or pay much lower rates when calling on Wi-Fi. You can also call back home to the U.S. on Wi-Fi for free. Data used internationally is charged the exact same as it is at home, going into the same $10 per gigabyte usage, and Bill Protection kicks in at the same 6GB limit. So you can go on a trip and continue sailing without worries which country signal you will catch (Greece – Turkey on example!).
This is possible because Google Fi uses the infrastructure of other operators. In the case of the United States, they have always used the infrastructure of T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular. So it works in a similar way to other MVNOs like the ones we have in Europe.
Google Fi also leans heavily on Wi-Fi whenever possible, whether you’re around a known network or not. As you move around, your phone will use the “Wi-Fi assistant” to constantly search for and connect to open Wi-Fi networks, using a database of known good networks that can provide a solid connection. Whenever your phone connects to Wi-Fi, the connection is routed through a VPN for your safety — and you won’t notice anything different in the phone experience, except you’re no longer paying for mobile data.
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Calls and texts work on Wi-Fi just as they do when you’re on mobile data, and you can continue your phone call as your phone switches between networks.
Does Google Fi have possibilities in Europe?
The fact that the company has registered the name of Google Fi in Europe as a trademark can mean many things. It is not a direct confirmation that this operator is going to enter the market of the old continent. But the American company does not want to rule out that possibility. Although rumors suggest that his arrival is closer than ever.
The idea that Google Fi raises is very interesting. A flexible rate, which adapts to each month based on the user’s consumption. If we add that you have roaming available in a large number of countries, then it is an attractive combination. It has everything the user needs today. But, it has a negative aspect. The negative aspect is its price.
Because if we focus on the rates they currently offer in the United States, we can see that their prices are really high. Especially if we compare them with the rates currently offered in any country in European Union currently. And that is a fact that would make it difficult to enter the market of the old continent.
From the outset we can see that prices are not cheap, even if they are in dollars.
First rate: 20 dollars for unlimited calls and messages: The base rate that we offer includes what we usually have many rates in EU. We have unlimited calls and messages, in addition to mobile data
Each additional GB costs $ 10: This is one of the weak points that the operator has. A price that was high in 2015 and is much higher today. Since in the end, it causes that if you are a user that consumes a lot of data, you have to pay too much per month.
From 6 GB of use you get unlimited data: It is the maximum rate. You will not pay more than $ 80 per month. Although, if you exceed 25 GB, the speed will be reduced.
Future deployment of Google Fi, especially in European Union, would require a lot more flexible rates, especially in data. Some operators start offering flat rates and with so many GB’s that it is difficult to spend them per month for much less.
Google Fi is compatible with most Android phones. For now, iPhone compatibility is in beta in the United States.
Conclusion, Google Fi can be interesting option in Europe too, as long as their prices are lower and more competitive.