International data: Google Fi vs T-Mobile

  • 29 November 2018
  • 2 replies

Now that Google Fi is available for iPhone and a wider range of Android devices, the fact that it allows use of your high speed data internationally at no additional charge may cause me to switch. I use between 1-2GB/month on T-Mobile. Google Fi would cost me only $30-40/month and I could use my data anywhere I travel.

So far as I can tell, T-Mobile has no plans that compete. Any option for using your T-Mobile data internationally are at 2G speeds.

I hope T-Mobile offers a comparable option before I take my next trip out of the country. I don't particularly want to switch to Fi, but it would be ideal for me.

2 replies

As I recall, Fi piggybacks on T-Mobile's international roaming at 2G speeds (e.g. 128 kbps) except where "3" service is available. When connected to "3" a Fi phone has full speed. All data, domestic or roaming, is charged at Fi's standard data rates.

T-Mobile includes throttled roaming data at no additional cost. You can buy international passes for "3G speed" (512 kbps). Which is also on the ONE Plus upgrade.

We had Project Fi on one of our phones and it worked pretty well. It had domestic coverage in places T-Mobile didn't but I always had to check to make sure I was using available WiFi and had all the data saving features turned on to avoid high bills. We only left Fi to put that phone on the 55+ plan before the rate went up.

Google Fi almost always offers the fastest data speeds available while abroad. If a region has 4G LTE service, you’ll get LTE speeds.

With T-Mobile ONE, you will get 2G (128kbps), and with ONE Plus (+$15/line/mo), you will get 128 x 2 = 256kbps. To me, even 256kbps is not enough for IG, FB, applications with videos/pictures like CNN or navigation like Waze. I missed the big promotion from Google Fi since I was traveling abroad. I plan to switch to Google Fi next time when they have another big promotion.