Google wants to put an end to international roaming charges

Google Tower
Leave your data roaming switched on.

Earlier in the year we got word that Google was planning to set itself up as a mobile operator, albeit on a limited basis to begin with. Now we have news of a killer feature that it wants to introduce with its own network: no extra data charges when you use your phone abroad.

While data roaming costs have been reduced in recent years, it's still a pain to have to switch off Facebook, Snapchat, Gmail and all those other lovely apps as soon as you cross the border. It's usually either the hotel Wi-Fi or nothing if you take your smartphone on holiday.

According to the Telegraph, Google wants to put an end to all that and give its users the same data deal as they have at home. Google is apparently in talks with Hutchison Whampoa, the owner of Three in the UK, for a package deal for its customers.

Limited offer

Before you start booking your flights and packing your sandals, a word of caution: the network is only going to be available to users in the United States for now. It may even be restricted to the small group of people who've managed to pick up a Nexus 6.

Thanks to Google's small-scale plans and the complex regulatory landscape in Europe it's likely to be a long time before anyone outside of the US benefits from this deal - nevertheless, it's good to know it could be in the works. Any move that Google made would have repercussions elsewhere across the world.

Anonymous inside sources have shed some light on the deal, though both Google and Hutchison Whampoa have refused to make any official comment at this stage. Let's hope sky-high bills for using phones abroad soon become a thing of the past.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.