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From what I see on their website, Google Fi is an amazing option for traveling as it provides cheap data in 135 countries around the world. I already have a Nexus phone so I can sign up for their service.

Would it be possible to become a customer of Google Fi as a tourist in the US? If it matters, a friend of mine can receive a package to their US address in case it takes a long time for them to send out a SIM card.

  • From TOS: "The Services are offered only to residents of the United States. The Services must be primarily used in the United States and are not intended for extended international use." - so the answer is no, it is not legal. Even if you did managed to get accont Google have a means of enforcing it (by checking to which networks you are connected) and it will probably result in ban from Google services (as probably roaming options cost them money and they might run into regulatory trouble in countries people would use them in). – Maciej Piechotka Dec 7 '17 at 1:10
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    @MaciejPiechotka I'm okay with breaking their ToS, as long as it works in practice. – JonathanReez Dec 7 '17 at 1:17
  • I'd be very surprised if Google was going to enforce these. I don't think Google makes any money from Project Fi, just like most of their other products. They offer this because they want to showcase what is possible and because they can. – nikhil Dec 7 '17 at 1:18
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    I bought Project Fi service while I was living in Canada, though I had a US bank account and cards with a US billing address. I was a frequent US visitor then but in practice they.don't seem to mind if you spend extended periods using the service outside the US as well. – Dennis Dec 7 '17 at 2:30
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Looks like it's possible, quoting from a similar thread on Reddit -

  1. Have a North American Nexus device (Fi won't work with euro devices, re: network bands, CDMA support)
  2. Have a valid US address and bank account.
  3. Have a US Google account.

I'm not sure if the 2nd requirement is actually a requirement(it is also moot because a sufficiently motivated tourist can open a US Bank Account), here are the acceptable payment methods(both credit and debit) -

  1. Visa
  2. MasterCard
  3. American Express
  4. Discover

However the first point is really important. Project Fi only works with certain devices.

These Nexus and Pixel models are unsupported, be sure to check this if your's isn't a North American model -

  1. Pixel Model G-2PW4200 (Rest of world version)
  2. Pixel XL Model G-2PW2200 (Rest of world version)
  3. Nexus 5X Model LGH791 and LGH791F (Rest of world versions)
  4. Nexus 6P Model H1512 (Rest of world version)
  5. Nexus 6 Model XT1100 (Rest of world version)
  • Hm, looks like I'd have to buy a Pixel 2 to use Fi, so it's not really an option :/ – JonathanReez Dec 7 '17 at 1:09
  • You could also get Android One Moto X4 or a Moto X4 - fi.google.com/about/phones Also some people report successfully being able to use Project FI with iPhones - ios.gadgethacks.com/how-to/… Based on my understanding you need a supported phone to activate the SIM and if you wanted to use the ability to change networks based on their strength, on other phones you're limited to the T-Mobile network or whatever T-Mobile would roam on. – nikhil Dec 7 '17 at 1:15
  • @JonathanReez As long as you're buying things in the US, you can certainly pick up a gently used Nexus device on eBay. – Michael Hampton Dec 7 '17 at 5:18

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