Google Fi – International Cellphone

As much as I wish to be disconnected from the world throughout this trip, I will find myself needing cellular connection capabilities throughout each country. There are a few methods to get cellphone service while abroad:

  • Use your current provider and pay international rates and roaming charges.
    • This is VERY expensive if used improperly and still does not guarantee strong connections.
  • Purchase a local SIM card within each country.
    • A tried a true method of all travelers. This will require you to find a local store in which you have to typically register your information and purchase a plan. Overtime this can become a large hassle and wasted money.
  • Google Fi
    • Works throughout 120+ countries (practically all of North and South America) with low rates calling rates from international locations.

Obviously, I am going to utilize Google Fi thr1oughout my trip. Yes there are other services like Google Fi, but none truly compare to the plan, connectivity, and calling rates of the

Google Project Fi platform. The current plan is $20USD a month and then $10USD per every GB of data. If data isn’t used, then a prorated refund is issued. Even more importantly, this is a relatively new endeavor for Google and it is expected to only get better in time. Here are some of the key things from Google Fi that I look forward to utilizing:

  • Seamlessly works throughout every country I will visit during my trip.
  • Can be used as a hotspot, allowing me to upload blog posts and photos.
  • Any data that isn’t used will be refunded.
  • It establishes a secure VPN through any open wifi connection it can access.
  • Unlimited international texting, which is great to communicate with any locals I meet.2
  • I can keep my current phone number.
One large drawback, for most people, is that this platform only works on the Google Nexus 5X, 6, and 6P. Throughout the US, the phone connects through Sprint and T-Mobile
offerings. So the connection isn’t as efficient as Verizon or ATT, but the cost savings are critical.

As I continue to use the device I will be sure to update with my overall experience as I traverse the Americas.


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