Google Fi, the tech company's mobile virtual network operator, once based its service on three different carrier networks for subscribers to hop between in search of the best signal. While that dropped to two after the T-Mobile and Sprint merger combined networks, now that's been limited to one after Google dropped US Cellular as an official network.
"We will no longer be an official network partner of Google Fi," US Cellular senior manager of media relations Katie Frey told CNET over email. "We value our relationship with Google, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration in other ways."
Google Fi users can still tap into US Cellular's network, but only while roaming, which users still won't be charged for, a Google representative told 9to5Google. A screenshot uploaded to Reddit last week showed a supposed support staffer for Google's service saying that US Cellular was no longer an official network of Google Fi.
Still, having US Cellular available will be helpful in areas that T-Mobile's network doesn't cover.
Google had launched its service as Project Fi in 2015 using a combination of T-Mobile and Sprint's networks, then added US Cellular's network in 2016. One of the biggest appeals of Google's service was that it would switch between different mobile networks (and even local Wi-Fi networks) to find the best connection for users. T-Mobile and Sprint finalized their merger in 2020, which included combining their networks, reducing the number of options Google Fi users could switch between.
Google did not respond to requests for comment.