Project Fi, Google’s side-project as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO), announced a new partnership with international cell carrier Three, which will allow the search giant to offer high-speed roaming data to Project Fi users. Only people who own the Nexus 5X, Nexus 6, and the Nexus 6P can gain access to Project Fi.
Three’s network covers the United Kingdom, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, and Sweden. Google is already partnered with T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular for domestic service.
Only 20% of Americans opt to use their cellular data when they travel abroad, according to a blog post on Android’s site. Most likely because carriers really only offer 3G services abroad, and slower data can sometimes be worse than no data at all.
With the new partnership, Google says they will be able to offer speeds 10 to 20 times faster than they were previous (within the scope of Three’s international coverage), but will still charge the same $10 per gigabyte of usage.
An MVNO is the cell service equivalent of a virtual machine, in that it’s a cell network that exists within, or on top of, other existing cell networks. Google isn’t building any cell towers, but it is piggybacking off of existing cell and WiFi infrastructure to provide service to those who own a later Nexus-model phone.
The company is offering a $150 discount on the Nexus 6P as well, amid rumors that the next set of Nexus phones will be released this year.