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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Sep 3, 2017, 6:37 am
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Last edit by: Zorak
Which countries are supported?

https://support.google.com/fi/answer...intl_countries

Note that in some locations Hangouts (and Gmail) are not available (e.g., China, Russia, Thailand, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, and more: see link below for full list of excluded countries), so you will need a VPN to access them (or to make VOIP calls via Hangouts Dialer)

https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3205646

Exceptions:

Listed, but no/spotty service:
  • Ukraine (Aug 2018) - no service, all providers listed as "forbidden". Post #660
  • Alaska (Jul 2018) -- had voice service, but inconsistent/spotty data (try forcing Sprint)
  • Peru (Sep 2016) post 341, 360
  • Grand Cayman Island (Jan 2018) post 547

Not listed, *did* have service
  • Belize (Jan 2018) post 547 Belize now appears on the "supported" international list
If you are having trouble connecting, level 1 Fi reps recommend you try the following steps before they will escalate. Try each step in the order listed below to see if it fixes your issue - if not, move on to next step.

1- Reboot phone
2- Toggle "airplane mode" on/off. Wait five seconds after toggling off (it resets phone modem).
3- Try manually connecting to each available network (rather than using the auto select feature).
4- Toggle down from 4g to 3g (removing the recommended 4g option) and then try manually connecting to each available network.
5- Toggle down from 3g to 2g and then try manually connecting to each available network.
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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Jul 9, 2015, 1:18 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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In the 10 days or so I've been on Project Fi, I have discovered and reported back to support that automated SMS messages from my broker like stock alerts and confirmations, and from my car concerning charge status and other things(via the auto manf.) aren't reaching me. Regular human initiated texts see to work just fine.

Both of these companies also support notification via email, and those make it through right on time. This is keeping it from being a big deal for me right now.

I did see someone reporting an issue with SMS short codes before, and did follow the advice to make sure if your notification provider asks for a carrier, to enter T Mobile.

Otherwise things seem to be working fine. I'm looking forward to some international roaming soon.
edweird is offline  
Old Jul 10, 2015, 12:32 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by edweird
In the 10 days or so I've been on Project Fi, I have discovered and reported back to support that automated SMS messages from my broker like stock alerts and confirmations, and from my car concerning charge status and other things(via the auto manf.) aren't reaching me. Regular human initiated texts see to work just fine.

Both of these companies also support notification via email, and those make it through right on time. This is keeping it from being a big deal for me right now.

I did see someone reporting an issue with SMS short codes before, and did follow the advice to make sure if your notification provider asks for a carrier, to enter T Mobile.

Otherwise things seem to be working fine. I'm looking forward to some international roaming soon.
Yup. I just had a tech support agent submit a bug report on this today. It seems to only intermittently receive text from short-code numbers. (I had it work once with Yahoo yesterday, but not with Fandango or Facebook.)

Number porting took about 19 hours in my case (StraightTalk on AT&T to Project Fi). Once it was ported I was able to dial out and receive some calls, but for a few hours I couldn't call from my Ooma VOIP line to the cell...got a number out of service message. That seems fixed.

I will say that I've had three interactions with support -- one via phone two via chat -- and all were very pleasant, helpful and seemingly US-based.
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Jul 12, 2015, 6:48 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 205
My experience with Project Fi has contained many of the issues previously mentioned by other posters.

The functionality that I've come to expect from Google Voice has been destroyed and receiving texts through Messenger is spotty. Ironically, I can still send a text through Voice and it arrives to the recipient instantly in every test case so far. However, it does not show up in the app's history nor does the response show up in Voice when that person replies.

I haven't seen any appreciable increase in signal strength/data network speed but then again I don't venture into the sticks very often in order to test this out.

I'm hopeful that some functionality will be restored as I prefer not to resort to a 3rd party client for texting but my patience is not infinite.

Overall, I'm of a mixed opinion for this service as of now.
Oreto is offline  
Old Jul 13, 2015, 9:10 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 220
My Saga...

I have had some interesting experiences as well.

After initially porting in my mainstay GV # and realizing what a mistake that was, I ported it back out. Then in porting it back out I was told that I had to transfer it to a different google account if I wanted to keep Fi (as Fi invites are tracked by the email account that requested them - in my case, that was also the gmail address my GV # was associated with) so that was a big headache.

Then, they had to ship me a new SIM card/Fi welcome kit. The kit arrived, and I had to go back and forth with support to get them on the same page with me, which was that I wanted a completely new phone number assigned to my Fi service. That took a few more days. Finally, over the weekend, my new number became active.

My latest discovery is (according to my experiments) that a Project Fi-assigned phone number is in some ways considered a Google Voice number, as I tried to add my new Fi number to my previously existing (original prior to Fi) GV account, and I get an error saying a GV# cannot be a forwarding number to another GV phone number.

This is nothing but an experiment for me. I do not rely on Fi as my primary service, etc. So, I am not really harmed much.

So, for those watching at home, here are the takeaways for me thus :

1. If your existing GV # is important to you and you text with it via the web (www.google.com/voice), DO NOT port it in (yet, as I gather they are working on integrating further).

2. If you want the full benefits of Fi (switching between T-Mo & Sprint automagically) I think you are better off getting your Nexus 6 directly from Fi, as I believe there are definitely software differences in the builds of Android 5.1 (and as of this week 5.1.1) and there may even be differences in the hardware. I am not sure on the hardware yet.
robroy90 is offline  
Old Jul 13, 2015, 1:47 pm
  #35  
 
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Int'l roaming in Panama and Colombia

I'm wrapping up my first international trip with Project Fi service and it has worked well. I took my phone out of airplane mode after each landing and let it do it's thing.

It seemed to take longer than TMo one of the times but about the same others for finding and connecting to a local carrier.

In Panama this has been Digicel in the PTY area. In Colombia it was Telefonica and ComcelOccel in the BAQ area.

I got messages from the Project Fi app telling me about the country coverage and a link to rates.

As expected 0.28 Mbps up and down speeds with 450ms ping times. No LTE just HSPA type connections.
edweird is offline  
Old Jul 13, 2015, 3:05 pm
  #36  
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I landed at Billy Bishop Airport in Toronto yesterday and got no service. Power cycled, worked through the troubleshooting steps and finally called customer service once I was able to get a wifi signal. Customer service had me punch in some codes that rebooted my phone -- each time I got a pop up about configuring the cellular network. Before I could finish the troubleshooting my connecting flight boarded. Fortunately, I almost immediately got a signal once I arrived in Montreal.

Data connections are very slow, as promised/threatened.
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Jul 14, 2015, 2:46 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 4,849
Originally Posted by edweird
I'm wrapping up my first international trip with Project Fi service and it has worked well. I took my phone out of airplane mode after each landing and let it do it's thing.

It seemed to take longer than TMo one of the times but about the same others for finding and connecting to a local carrier.

In Panama this has been Digicel in the PTY area. In Colombia it was Telefonica and ComcelOccel in the BAQ area.

I got messages from the Project Fi app telling me about the country coverage and a link to rates.

As expected 0.28 Mbps up and down speeds with 450ms ping times. No LTE just HSPA type connections.
Looks like almost exactly 2x tmobile speeds with similar ping times.
olouie is offline  
Old Jul 15, 2015, 10:59 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,470
Originally Posted by robroy90
I have had some interesting experiences as well.

After initially porting in my mainstay GV # and realizing what a mistake that was, I ported it back out. Then in porting it back out I was told that I had to transfer it to a different google account if I wanted to keep Fi (as Fi invites are tracked by the email account that requested them - in my case, that was also the gmail address my GV # was associated with) so that was a big headache.

Then, they had to ship me a new SIM card/Fi welcome kit. The kit arrived, and I had to go back and forth with support to get them on the same page with me, which was that I wanted a completely new phone number assigned to my Fi service. That took a few more days. Finally, over the weekend, my new number became active.

My latest discovery is (according to my experiments) that a Project Fi-assigned phone number is in some ways considered a Google Voice number, as I tried to add my new Fi number to my previously existing (original prior to Fi) GV account, and I get an error saying a GV# cannot be a forwarding number to another GV phone number.

This is nothing but an experiment for me. I do not rely on Fi as my primary service, etc. So, I am not really harmed much.

So, for those watching at home, here are the takeaways for me thus :

1. If your existing GV # is important to you and you text with it via the web (www.google.com/voice), DO NOT port it in (yet, as I gather they are working on integrating further).

2. If you want the full benefits of Fi (switching between T-Mo & Sprint automagically) I think you are better off getting your Nexus 6 directly from Fi, as I believe there are definitely software differences in the builds of Android 5.1 (and as of this week 5.1.1) and there may even be differences in the hardware. I am not sure on the hardware yet.
Thanks for the update. I'm waiting for an invite but the google voice issue is a concern as I also use SMS via web browser/hangouts app all the time. The number that I'd be porting is my Sprint phone number that's been google voice enabled for a couple of years now.

ETA: Actually I just read the Google FI FAQ and looks like I should be okay seeing how I do all my texting on other devices via the hangouts app which they support in this case after porting to Fi. The only feature that I'll lose that I currently use is having my GV number ring on multiple phones i.e. my office phone.

Last edited by greendx; Jul 15, 2015 at 11:15 pm
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Old Jul 16, 2015, 9:58 am
  #39  
 
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Originally Posted by greendx
The only feature that I'll lose that I currently use is having my GV number ring on multiple phones i.e. my office phone.
There is an option on the web page used to manage your Fi account that lets you setup call forwarding. It allows you to add other telephone numbers and says "Calls to your Project Fi number will also go to numbers you add here."

I added my home line (which just happens to be VOIP via Anveo) and will post back if I see calls to my Fi number also ringing on it.
edweird is offline  
Old Jul 16, 2015, 3:45 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,470
Originally Posted by edweird
There is an option on the web page used to manage your Fi account that lets you setup call forwarding. It allows you to add other telephone numbers and says "Calls to your Project Fi number will also go to numbers you add here."

I added my home line (which just happens to be VOIP via Anveo) and will post back if I see calls to my Fi number also ringing on it.
Okay then....just waiting for my invite now
greendx is offline  
Old Jul 16, 2015, 4:31 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Posts: 227
I'm hoping the next iphone is compatible. I like the tmo+sprint to have better coverage
switchyj is offline  
Old Jul 16, 2015, 8:04 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
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Originally Posted by greendx
Okay then....just waiting for my invite now
Will it forward abroad?
Dubai Stu is offline  
Old Jul 19, 2015, 12:58 pm
  #43  
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Anyone else having issues with MMS messages.

I tried to send one through Hangouts, which I've used as my messaging app since before I made the switch to Project Fi, and got a message that MMS wasn't supported by my carrier. Searched and see that Project Fi says Messenger supports MMS but they can't guarantee that it will work with other texting apps. The annoying bit is that I have Hangouts running within Chrome on my laptop, so if a text arrives I can reply from my computer. Unfortunately, these sent messages only appear in the Android Hangouts app, not the Messenger app. I'd really prefer not to use Messenger for MMS messages and Hangouts for everything else.
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Old Jul 19, 2015, 6:10 pm
  #44  
 
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I'm sticking with Messenger as my SMS app on my phone until they tell us that Messenger works correctly for MMS. I would rather use Messenger and have everything synched across devices, but will just wait for that to work.

I don't get many MMS, so fixing the SMS messages I don't get from TDAmeritrade, Chase, and Ford are bigger issues for me. Thankfully all of those also send email notifications that are working.
edweird is offline  
Old Jul 20, 2015, 4:08 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SFO/SJC/SQL
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My Nexus 6 and Google Fi SIM card should arrive tomorrow.

Anyone try using the service over Gogo or other inflight wifi? I do not plan on being "that guy" making calls but would like SMS capability. I know iMessage works over Gogo but would love to be able to contact non-Apple folks in the air.
WChou is offline  

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