Google Fi is a unique cellular service that uses multiple cellular networks and Wi-Fi behind the scenes - automatically picking the best partner wherever you happen to be. Their plans are based on the T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular networks.
Making this an attractive option for travelers who visit other countries regularly. However, in recent months, we have heard reports of Google Fi enforcing their primary US use policy.
Table of Contents
Video Version of this Story:
Primary U.S. Use Enforcement
While Google Fi's terms and conditions have always included language stating that the plan is not intended for extended international use, we have only recently seen reports of this policy being enforced.
Google Fi's Terms & Conditions state:
The Services are offered only to residents of the United States. The Services must be primarily used in the United States and are not intended for extended international use. Further, the Services are designed for use predominantly within our network. If your usage outside our network is excessive, abnormally high, or cause us to incur too much cost, we may, at our option and sole discretion, suspend your Google Fi account, terminate your service, or limit your use of roaming.
As of mid-2019 and early 2020, we have received several reports of Google Fi customers receiving notification of the their international roaming being terminated after several months of non-US usage.
As recently reported on a cruising forum, a Google Fi user received a letter with the following language:
"In 30 days, we’ll need to suspend your international roaming data capabilities unless you start using Fi in the US again. Fi’s terms of service require you to use our service primarily from a US address, but it looks like you’ve been using Fi abroad for over 5 months."
As Google Fi doesn't specifically define what they consider extended use, we don't know for certain where their threshold might be. Many other carriers have similar policies, and generally the threshold is 2-3 months.
We've also had reports from users who traveled internationally for years with their Google Fi plan, and have only recently received warnings around termination. So it appears that Google Fi is stepping up their enforcement of this term.
Google Fi customers who travel internationally primarily should be mindful of this policy, and make sure they have some US use in their recent history to retain access to their roaming feature.
- Google Fi Adds Simply Unlimited Smartphone Plan: 22GB High-Speed Data On Device Only Posted on: April 22, 2021
- Google Fi Promo: 50% Off 'Unlimited' Plan for First 3 Months for New Customers Posted on: February 19, 2021
- Google Fi Rolls Out eSIM Support For All Customers Posted on: May 19, 2020
- Google Fi Enforcing Restrictions on International Data Use Posted on: January 27, 2020
- Google Fi Rolls Out "Dual Connect" Technology Posted on: October 26, 2019