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What network does Google Fi use?

Is there such a thing as Google cell towers?
By
December 27, 2022
Google Fi package and SIM edited
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Google is getting into just about every corner of the consumer technology market. From an impressive lineup of Pixel phones to smart home products and even your mobile coverage with Google Fi. Google Fi has become an increasingly popular carrier with affordable plans and support for just about any phone. But what network does Google Fi use, and how does it work? We’ll answer those questions in this guide.

Read more: Google Fi buyer’s guide: Pricing, plans, and more

QUICK ANSWER

Google Fi is unique among MVNOs because it uses both T-Mobile and US Cellular networks for coverage. They've also added a W+ network of Wi-Fi hotspots to expand coverage across the U.S.

What network is Google Fi using, and is it good or bad?

Google Pixel 7 Pro camera housing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Google Fi is unique because it operates on T-Mobile and US Cellular networks without being owned by those companies. Sprint used to contribute to Google Fi, but now it’s fully controlled by T-Mobile. The combination of networks means that Fi can flexibly switch between more cell towers to provide 4G LTE in more places.

Google Fi relies on multiple mobile networks from T-mobile and US Cellular, as well as secure Wi-Fi connections.

Thanks to its relationship with T-Mobile, those with a Google Fi plan can tap into nationwide 5G. As long as your phone is 5G-capable, you’ll automatically connect. Currently, Google Fi only serves customers in the United States. However, Fi is the carrier to beat if you travel abroad. You get free texts and international calls from just one cent per minute and data at the standard rate.

If you have a Pixel phone, you’ll get more perks from using Google Fi. Namely, Pixel users can take advantage of the W+ network of Wi-Fi hotspots, which can be found in areas of low coverage, such as certain airports, malls, and stadiums. However, using these W+ hotspots still counts toward your Google Fi data plan.

How does Google Fi compare to the competition?

Ultimately, determining the best carrier depends on your personal needs. Google Fi offers three different plans, each with more benefits for those traveling across North America or abroad. With networks in over 200 countries, you should have reliable coverage no matter where you go.

However, if you have an iPhone, you won’t get the full slate of Google Fi’s features, such as network switching, and the maximum number of features are exclusive to Google’s own Pixel phones.

We have dedicated guides comparing Google Fi to the Big Three carriers; Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. For convenience, here is a quick breakdown of Google Fi plans and pricing. Otherwise, check out the best prepaid and no-contract plans in the U.S.

FlexibleSimply UnlimitedUnlimited Plus
Cost
Flexible
$20 for one line
$18 for two lines
$17 for three lines
$17 for four lines
Simply Unlimited
$60 for one line
$45 for two lines
$30 for three lines
$30 for four lines
Unlimited Plus
$70 for one line
$60 for two lines
$50 for three lines
$45 for four lines
Talk & Text
Flexible
Unlimited
Simply Unlimited
Unlimited
Unlimited Plus
Unlimited
Data
Flexible
$10 per GB used
Simply Unlimited
Unlimited up to 22GB
Unlimited Plus
Unlimited up to 22GB
Hotspot
Flexible
Full-speed at $10 per GB rate
Simply Unlimited
No hotspot included
Unlimited Plus
Full-speed included
International
Flexible
Calls starting at $0.01 per minute
Free texts
Data at $10 per GB rate
Simply Unlimited
Free calls to Canada and Mexico
Low rates to other countries
Unlimited Plus
Free calls to over 50 countries
Free texts
Free data
Extras
Flexible
Data free after per-month limit
Simply Unlimited
None
Unlimited Plus
Google One membership

FAQs

No, Google Fi does not use Verizon cell towers.

Google Fi uses both T-Mobile and US Cellular networks for coverage.

The Google Fi Unlimited Plus plan comes with 50 G.B. of data per month, which is more than most people will use.

As part of its launch, Google Fi had a promotion in 2018 for a free month of service to new customers. You can check out current Google Fi promotions and discounts here.