Skip to main content

Google’s new cellphone service may include free international roaming

google project zero malwarebytes vulnerability headquarters
Google’s proposed cell service just got a little more interesting. According to a recent Telegraph report, the search giant is in talks with Hutchinson Whampoa to offer international call, text, and data roaming to customers of its virtual network at no extra charge.

Hutchinson Whampoa, a Hong Kong-based wireless conglomerate with networks in Ireland, Italy, Sri Lanka, Macau, Sweden, Denmark, Vietnam, and Austria, has plans that dovetail with Google’s reported ones. The company already offers charge-free roaming for customers on its global Three network, and hopes to expand its footprint further by acquiring O2 from UK operator Telefonica.

Google wouldn’t be the only carrier to offer international roaming gratis. That honor also goes to T-Mobile and Illiad Group’s Free Mobile, both of which have deals in place with overseas network operators. Still, the largest US carriers, AT&T and Verizon, provide no such benefit.

Google’s intention to begin offering cellular service was officially revealed in March. Set to launch “in the coming months,” Google Product Chief Sundar Pichai described it as a “smaller scale” operation. Many interpret the move as an attempt, similar to Google Fiber’s in the home Internet sector, to pressure incumbent providers into improving service and infrastructure.

Rumblings suggest Google’s mobile phone plan will take the form of a virtualized network on top of service from Sprint and T-Mobile, much like Virgin Mobile or Tracfone Wireless. According to The Wall Street Journal, it’ll also make heavy use of Wi-Fi and initially be available only on the Nexus 6 in the U.S.

These rumors are surfacing at a time when European regulators are seeking to cut or eliminate roaming fees.  Member states of the European Commission recently hashed out terms that would see a push for lower fees into mid-2018.

Editors' Recommendations

Kyle Wiggers
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kyle Wiggers is a writer, Web designer, and podcaster with an acute interest in all things tech. When not reviewing gadgets…
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: news, rumors, and what we want to see
The Galaxy Watch 5 Pro showing a colorful watch face.

Samsung’s 2023 product lineup has turned out pretty impressive so far, but the more promising devices are scheduled for the latter half of the year. Among them is the Galaxy Watch 6 series. Now, the Galaxy Watch 5 lineup isn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it also wasn’t really an appealing upgrade over the Galaxy Watch 4 portfolio.

With the Galaxy Watch 6 series, we’re already hearing some promising chatter in the leak land. From exciting display upgrades and a processor upgrade to the return of a classic design and software-side improvements, there's a lot to unpack. So, here's everything we know so far about the Samsung Galaxy Watch 6.
Samsung Galaxy Watch 6: design

Read more
Fitbit Charge 5, Sense 2 fitness trackers just had their prices slashed
Wearing a Fitbit Sense 2 while working at a desk.

Health and fitness enthusiasts can pounce on some savings today, as Best Buy has discounted a couple of popular Fitbit fitness trackers. Both the Fitbit Charge 5 and Fitbit Sense 2 are seeing fairly significant discounts, and each makes a good option for someone with a workout, hike, or daily step count to track. Each also comes with six free months of Fitbit Premium, a membership service that personalizes your workout experience, and Best Buy is including free shipping as well.
Fitbit Charge 5 — $120, was $150

With the Fitbit Charge 5 you can dive deep into your fitness routine. In addition to tracking things like stress, heart rate variability, and skin temperature, it’s also able to track calorie burn and optimize your workouts. There’s also no need to lug a phone around with you on any of your workouts or outdoor adventures, as the Fitbit Charge 5 has built-in GPS that allows you to see your real-time pace and distance, and to see a map of your workout routine in the Fitbit app. This fitness tracker can reach up to seven days of battery life on a single charge, even for workout warriors who plan on putting it to good use. Closing out the top features of the Fitbit Charge 5 is a Health Metrics dashboard that provides all of your fitness data for you in one place.

Read more
Extreme effort to retrieve dropped smartphone leads to suspension
The Troomi phone is a Samsung Galaxy A12

If you happen to accidentally drop your phone in water, hopefully it'll be a puddle rather than a reservoir.

A government official in India recently experienced the latter, dropping his Samsung handset in the Kherkatta Dam in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh while he was trying to take a selfie at a scenic spot, the BBC reported.

Read more