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Google may add free international roaming to its wireless service plan

Google, which is
developing its own wireless service, is reportedly in talks with Hutchison
Whampoa, the owner of British wireless carrier Three, to offer wireless plans
that will allow people in the U.S. to use their smartphones abroad without
roaming charges, reports the
Telegraph,
citing sources.

Google, which is
developing its own wireless service, is reportedly in talks with Hutchison
Whampoa, the owner of British wireless carrier Three, to offer wireless plans
that will allow people in the U.S. to use their smartphones abroad without
roaming charges, reports the
Telegraph,
citing sources.

According to the
Telegraph report, the plans would include voice calls, text messages and data,
which would cost the same regardless of customers’ locations.

Although most
mobile carriers in the US offer packages that include international roaming,
but they’re usually quite expensive.

A month ago, Google confirmed its plans
to offer a wireless service. Back then, Senior VP
Sundar Pichai said that the project would begin as a “small
scale” experiment, which would allow Google to sell wireless plans
directly to users. Google will reportedly act as a mobile virtual network
operator (MVNO), meaning it will buy wholesale access to an existing carrier’s
network and sell it back to customers.

This partnership
with Hutchison Whamopoa, which operates Three in several countries, including the
UK, Ireland, Italy, Sweden, Australia, among other, would allow Google to offer
its customers service in those markets without extra charges.

According to a Mashable
report, Google doesn’t have plans to offer a similar wireless service in Europe
“for the foreseeable future,” as there is already a great deal of
competition among European carriers where roaming charges are less prevalent.

Three is part of
the Hutchison
Whampoa Limited
group of companies which has mobile operations in 11
countries. In the Mashable report, Hutchison is described as a “natural
partner” for Google as the company has also made strides to to do away
with roaming charges for Three customers.

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