Google is reportedly in talks with Three UK owner Hutchison Whampoa to let subscribers use its upcoming mobile phone service without charge while abroad.
According to a report on Saturday in the Telegraph, Google hopes to offer customers free use of its upcoming network while outside the US, with none of the traditional “roaming” fees travelers pay.
That option is the subject of negotiations between Google and Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa, the UK newspaper said, citing unnamed industry sources.
The deal could help Google gain a strong international foothold with Hutchison Whampoa operating networks in Italy, Vietnam, Ireland, Austria, Sweden, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Macau and Denmark.
In March, Google announced plans to offer mobile phone network service in coming months through partnerships to use other operators’ network infrastructure.
Although Google’s product chief Sundar Pichai said the service will be “smaller scale,” it could shake up the market by resetting customer expectations for what a network should offer and how much it could cost.