June 7, 2017
Get LTE in 135+ Countries for $35 per Month on an iPhone
One of the biggest concerns when traveling abroad these days is the cost of getting data (internet) on your phone. Wireless prices in the US have been generally coming down over the years, mostly thanks to T-Mobile’s aggressive competition. That being said, getting fast data on your phone abroad can still be expensive.
ATT will charge you $10 per day to access your data plan in another country, though you get high speed LTE data for that price premium. Meanwhile, Sprint and T-Mobile offer free 2G internet in 165 and 145 countries respectively. While it’s nice to have free data abroad, 2G is painfully slow. If you want LTE you have to pay an additional fee. This is where the beauty of Google Project Fi kicks in.
Project Fi is Google’s lesser known wireless service-and it’s absolutely perfect for travelers. Here’s what it comes with:
- Unlimited domestic talking and texting
- Unlimited international texting
- Access high speed data (LTE if available) in 135+ countries
- Calls cost $0.20/minute internatioanlly
- Use your phone as a hotspot
How much does Project Fi cost? $20 per month+$15 per gigabyte of data you use. You need to have at least 1 gigabyte of data on your plan, so the cheapest option is $35/month. So for $35 a month you can have LTE internet in 135+ countries. That’s a GREAT deal. What’s the catch? Project Fi will only work with Google phones. As of this writing, that means you’ll need a Pixel, Nexus 6P, or a Nexus 5X. These phones range from $249-$869, and Google does offer 0% financing.
Now, what if you’re an iPhone or Samsung user and just don’t want to switch to a Google phone? I’m right there with you. I love my iPhone 7 Plus but I hate overpaying for international high speed data. All you have to do is buy one of the eligible Google phones and sign up for Project Fi. When you’re abroad, turn on the hotspot and throw it in your backpack! Connect your iPhone to your own personal wireless hotspot that’s traveling around the world with you! You can also connect your other devices to the hotspot, like your computer, tablet etc-all for $10/gigabyte in 135+ countries.
The math of whether it makes financial to sign up for Fi to get LTE on your iPhone depends on how much you travel abroad and how strongly you want LTE. If you’re happy with 2G speeds abroad, stick with T-Mobile or Sprint since those are free. If you want LTE but leave the country infrequently, it’s still probably cheaper to stick with a traditional phone carrier and just buy one of their international plans (since you don’t have to buy a second Google phone). I personally go in and out of the US fairly regularly, I want LTE, and I want it on my iPhone (not on an Android). Under those circumstances, it’s cheaper to buy a second Google phone, sign-up for Project Fi, and use it as a portable hotspot abroad. Not to mention I don’t have to rely on finding shady wifi networks everywhere I go 🙂
Featured Image Courtesy of Getty Images