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What network does Google Fi use?

Is there such a thing as Google cell towers?
By

Published onMay 25, 2023

Google Fi Wireless logo on smartphone with SIM card and SIM ejector next to it Stock photo 7

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.

QUICK ANSWER

Google Fi is unique among MVNOs because it uses T-Mobile in the US and may use both T-Mobile and UScellular networks for coverage while roaming. 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?

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As a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Google Fi is unique because it operates on T-Mobile and UScellular 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 UScellular, 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 calls between the US, Canada and Mexico, with affordable calls from the US to other destinations.

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.


FAQs

No, Google Fi does not use Verizon cell towers.

Google Fi uses both T-Mobile in the US and may use UScellular networks for coverage while roaming.

The Google Fi Unlimited Plus plan comes with unlimited data and texts in the US and over 200 countries or regions.

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.

No, Google Fi is not a part of AT&T. It’s a different mobile virtual network operator owned by Google.

Google Fi primarily uses T-Mobile towers for service in the US. However, they have an agreement that if you are roaming and there is no T-Mobile service available, it will switch to using a UScellular tower.

Yes, Google Fi exclusively uses T-Mobile networks for coverage in the US.