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The One City Where Google Fi Did Not Work for Me

Google Fi
Written by Charlie

Google Fi is an awesome service that gives me coverage. But, there is one place that Google Fi did not work for me, and it was a surprise to me!

As I said yesterday, I am a big fan of the Google Fi system that allows me to use data in places around the world for only $10 per 1GB on my iPhone (while paying the base $20 plan that allows me to order data only SIMs). I have used it in many places without any problems (see the list below for the countries) and it has always kept me connected.

The One City Where Google Fi Did Not Work for Me

Google Fi

But, on a recent trip, I hit one city where Google Fi did not come through for me. When I searched for an answer to the issue, I found that many other people had experienced similar incidents around the country. The place was Rome, Italy. I was very surprised given that I have used Google Fi in places I never thought I would get a signal yet I could not even get any data at all anywhere in Rome.

No Data – At All

My wife and I had gone there for a quick 10th anniversary trip and left the kids with my parents in Greece. Obviously, staying in touch was key for us since my parents do not live in Greece and we had to be accessible in case any questions arose about something there. It was a huge disappointment to find that, no matter what we did, we could not get any Google Fi data at all. In the end, thanks to the EU’s new rules on cell phone roaming charges, we just popped our Greece SIMs back in and were able to get data and phone connectivity (but a bit more expensive than Fi’s $10 per 1GB).

I tried everything that was suggested in various online forums but to no avail. From what I understand, it is something on the Italian networks that can cause problems but still a major disappointment in the Google Fi system. Even when they were contacted, there was nothing that was able to be done to make it work for us. Since I have been back, I have read that many others had problems there while still others had no problems there.

I certainly will not stop using Google Fi as it has been tremendous for me everywhere else (especially now with increased speeds). I have successfully used it in the following countries:

  • United States
  • UK
  • Greece
  • Germany
  • France
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Egypt
  • UAE
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Chile
  • Spain
  • Canada
  • Turkey

So, I am curious, are there are any countries/cities where Google Fi did not work for you? If so, was there something you were able to do to get it to work again? I had full bars for signal, just no connection (this was on the same iPhone 6 Plus that I use it with everywhere else).

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About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • My son had similar problems last spring. Hr called their customer service number and they fixed it for him plus they gave him a $25 credit for the inconvenience

  • I had the exact same problem in Venice Italy. My data worked everywhere else in Europe. I suspect it has something to do with the Italian networks

  • My wife and I just got back from a 2 weeks vacay in Italy and had no issues with Fi in Rome, Florence or Venice. Lucky us it seems.

  • we just spent 1 week travelling in southern Italy and never had any problems! Internet speeds were good too!

  • I had problem in Hong Kong before, i changed to the 2G and then it is okay, slow but okay. They gave me a $20 credit for the 3 days that i could not get connected to FI.

    So far, i have used it in Costa Rica, Iceland, UK, France, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Bali, Bangkok without issue.

  • Imho… T-Mobile has really stepped up there game. I’m a vzw user but got an addl line on my brothers T-Mobile family plan for $10/mth… 2gb LTE, but best part is free Intl data! Summer promo free LTE all over Europe! Perfect for our 10 day trip to Mallorca and London! I’m considering switching when vzw jacks up my grandfathered unlimited data.

  • Hi, I am in Torino Italy. June 3, 4, 5 and the google fi system needs immediate corrective action. Signal shows on the phone, but the phone doesn’t connect. I was in London 3 times since December, 2018 and note that the service in London was very spotty–very surprising that out on Skye and in Brittany out in the middle of nowhere and system was just fine! Will track and report back as we are going to Finale Ligure, Milan, Verona, Lake Garda, Parma, Bologna and Modena. Any suggestions on connectivity would be appreciated–Like others Google support has proved futile and waste of time in past, so all I did this time was report that attention needs to be paid to their system in Torino.