Google has announced that its Project Fi mobile network service is now available in 170 markets. The company also revealed a new feature that automatically tells subscribers whether their planned international travel destination is compatible with their Project Fi plan, using flight data gleaned from Gmail.
Indeed, Project Fi will now be able to dip into your Gmail account to determine whether you have any international fights coming up. If you do, Project Fi will notify you whether your destination is covered by your plan and explain what you can expect to pay for service while traveling. This is similar to how Google trawls your Gmail account for events in order to surface information in its other products, such as Google Calendar.
The new feature is actually activated by default in Project Fi, but you can disable it from within your account settings.
It’s been more than two years since Google announced Project Fi, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) service that switches between Wi-Fi and the cellular networks of T-Mobile, Three, Sprint, and U.S. Cellular. The pricing structure has always been fairly straight forward, but as of last month, Project Fi ushered in a few changes. Users still pay a flat $20 per month for unlimited calls and texts, but now they will be charged $10 per GB of data up to 6GB. The fee will be capped from that threshold up to 15GB. Users can opt for slower data speeds, however, or if they still wish speedy internet, they can reinstate the $10 per GB fee structure.
A massive perk with Project Fi is that the service works more or less identically abroad, covering many parts of the Americas, Europe, Africa, and Asia. That said, users have to pay $0.20 per minute if they wish to place a cellular call, but if they’re on a Wi-Fi network, the calls remain free. So far, this setup has applied to around 135 markets globally, but that number has now been expanded to 170 and includes the likes of Algeria, Nigeria, Tunisia, Belize, and Uzbekistan.