Google Fi gains high-speed international data, RCS messaging support

Instead of slow 3G speeds when traveling abroad, Fi users will soon have 4G LTE in select countries.

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Starting Monday, Google Fi users with a Fi compatible Android phone will begin to see RCS (Rich Communications Services) capabilities on their phones. In addition to improved messaging features, Fi subscribers will begin to have access to 4G LTE data speeds when traveling internationally.

The announcement of new Google Fi features follows the service's rebranding from Project Fi to Google Fi, added support for more Android devices, and a beta program for iPhone users in late 2018.

Fi subscribers who have a phone specifically designed to work on Google Fi will begin to see new features in the Messages app, such as a typing indicator, high-resolution videos, read receipts, and the ability to message over Wi-Fi or data.

Google has been working with carriers and its Android hardware partners to standardize an improved version of SMS messaging with RCS.

For those Fi users who have a compatible Android phone, you will need to install the official Google Messages app in order to activate the RCS functionality.

Over the next few weeks, Google will enable high-speed data in 33 countries for Fi subscribers with phones designed for Fi:

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Image: Google

These 33 countries were already part of the over 200 countries Fi users have free international data roaming, where a data connection is typically limited to 3G speeds.