Google’s Project Fi Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) service has been an intriguing value proposition for smartphone users since its introduction over a year ago. Project Fi allows you to use Wi-Fi (whenever possible) for data and calls and can switch to cellular carriers (selected based on signal strength) when out of Wi-Fi range.
When Project Fi launched, it did so with carrier support from T-Mobile and Sprint in the United States. Last month, Google brought on U.S. Cellular to further expand coverage so that “users have a connection nearly 99% of the time, and spend about 95% of cellular time on LTE.”
But what about international service? Google has always offers international coverage in over 135 countries at the same $10/GB data cost that is charged in the U.S., but it only provided 3G (or even **gulp** 2G) data speeds. Google is making the first steps to give Project Fi users better coverage outside the U.S. and at much higher speeds with the addition of Europe’s Three wireless carrier. According to Google, it now can offer international data speeds that are 10 to 20 times faster than what was previously available (all while keeping the same pricing structure).
In a statement to TechCrunch, Google expanded on this speed increase, stating, “Users will get the fastest connection available on a given network, speeds aren’t capped. In some cases, that would be LTE networks, in others it would be 3G networks (depending on roaming agreements). Different countries will have different speeds, which is why we set a range.”
In addition to bringing Three onboard to help boost data speeds abroad, Google also today announced that it will take $150 off the price of a Nexus 6P if you purchase it from the Google Store and activate it on Project Fi. The promotion is active now and will last for exactly one week.