Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Sep 3, 2017, 6:37 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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.
Print Wikipost

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Jul 20, 2015, 5:36 pm
  #46  
Moderator: Information Desk, Women Travelers, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 15,565
Originally Posted by WChou
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.
You shouldn't have a problem sending text messages via Hangouts, maybe via Messenger, too.
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Jul 20, 2015, 9:52 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,470
Originally Posted by Dubai Stu
Will it forward abroad?
You mean from say a US number to a UK number? If so I'm not sure but I doubt it. If you mean while travelling abroad then yes. My current setup involves me forwarding my google voice enabled sprint personal phone to my verizon work phone and desk phone while I'm home in NY. When I travel out of the country I turn off forwarding to the verizon and desk phones and forward to a tmobile phone that I travel with.
greendx is offline  
Old Jul 20, 2015, 9:58 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Posts: 1,470
Originally Posted by chgoeditor
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.

Hangouts doesn't seem to work with MMS. This is a problem for me as some of my friends like to send group sms which essentially converts the sms to mms. I never get those messages anywhere really because I only use Hangouts for my messaging needs. Since my google voice is integrated with my sprint phone and I never use the actual phone (always forward it to another cell phone to avoid carrying 2 phones) I can only get my sms via Hangouts and if I'm expecting a MMS I have to ask the sender to send it to the other number, number of the phone that I'm actually forwarding to. This is very inconvenient and my biggest issue with GV.
greendx is offline  
Old Jul 21, 2015, 7:06 am
  #49  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: UA Silver, Bonvoy Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 21,337
Originally Posted by WChou
My Nexus 6 and Google Fi SIM card should arrive tomorrow.
I'd like to interrupt this thread by saying your signature is awesome.
pseudoswede is offline  
Old Jul 21, 2015, 3:23 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SFO/SJC/SQL
Posts: 1,412
Originally Posted by chgoeditor
You shouldn't have a problem sending text messages via Hangouts, maybe via Messenger, too.
I'll give things a shot and report back.

Originally Posted by pseudoswede
I'd like to interrupt this thread by saying your signature is awesome.
Thanks you very much. At this point I just need a 5 second audio sample and I can do a live vocal performance with the TV muted. My coworkers have questioned my sanity a bit in meetings as I quietly sing, "The window is open, so's that door. I didn't know they did that anymore. Who knew we owned eight thousand salad plaaaaaaaates?" Ahhhh.... parenthood......
WChou is offline  
Old Jul 29, 2015, 11:54 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SFO/SJC/SQL
Posts: 1,412
The free T-Mobile SMS service does not work. Didn't expect it to as the SIM IMSI would not be one belonging to TMo.

However, once on Gogo, all services work and I mean all services. On a whim, I dialied my wife and the call went through. She was a bit surprised knowing I was in the air. We usually communicate via Apple iMessage. Call was crystal clear without any stuttering. Won't do it again as I hate being "that guy." SMS and MMS to and from my wife also went through without any issues.
WChou is offline  
Old Jul 30, 2015, 12:51 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 102
I wonder if its because google has vpn when on wifi so all services work during gogo session.
Depending on my mood I would stream netflix when on gogo using my vpn, although the lag is almost unbearable even during the red eye flights.
vletnguyen is offline  
Old Aug 1, 2015, 10:25 am
  #53  
Moderator: Information Desk, Women Travelers, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 15,565
I'm coming off of Straight Talk, which historically offered "unlimited" data and then switched to 5GBs (I think) of data for people on the BYOP plan. Regardless, I didn't really need to think about my data usage, which is one element of Project Fi that I'm still getting used to. I'd love to hear people's creative tips for minimizing data usage when off wifi/on the network.

Two of my initial actions:
* Instead of listening to Pandora when working out, I've switched to Play Music and am downloading music via wifi so I can stream off of my device when working out.
* I have a Freedom Pop modem that comes with 1 GB of data each month. Historically I've only used it when traveling or if I needed to work on my laptop in a spot where there's no wifi. Now I'm carrying it in my purse and turning it on if I'm away from wifi for a while. (I also downloaded an app that prioritizes wifi connections, so my phone first looks to home network, for example, before using the Freedom Pop connection.)

Other suggestions, tips and tricks?

Last edited by chgoeditor; Aug 1, 2015 at 10:37 am
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Aug 1, 2015, 3:25 pm
  #54  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: DAB
Programs: DL PM UA PSilver Marriott Lifetime Plat, AMEX Platinum, Avis PC, UA MPPPlus
Posts: 961
On my Nexus 6 I setup apps to not download data in the background if I'm on a cellular connection.

I made sure that when I cut the hotspot on to share data, that connection is advertised as a metered connection to my other devices, so they know not to download stuff in the background on it.

I got my tablet activated again for the TMo 200 MB a month free plan.

I'm pretty proactive about connecting to hotspots I have access to via my cable subscription or Boingo plan whenever I can.

My second Fi billing cycle ends tomorrow and I'll have used about 300 MB of cellular data this month.
edweird is offline  
Old Aug 1, 2015, 5:32 pm
  #55  
Moderator: Information Desk, Women Travelers, FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Chicago, IL, USA
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 15,565
Originally Posted by edweird
My second Fi billing cycle ends tomorrow and I'll have used about 300 MB of cellular data this month.
300 MB?! I'm impressed. I work from home, so I'm on WIFI ~16 hours a day, but I've still managed to used 1.6 GB in 3 weeks.

Where possible, I've specified that apps which do big uploads/downloads should only do those when on WIFI. Now I need to figure out if I can tell my various mail programs how frequently they should check for new messages, because I can see that's a big data suck.
chgoeditor is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2015, 6:53 am
  #56  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: IAD
Programs: United Premier Gold, *wood Gold
Posts: 39
I'm just over the one month period and thought I would share some observations on Fi so far. Really like the service but it definitely has some hiccups.

- I did not change any settings from my original Google Voice settings and found the systems is still calling my other lines when a person calls. Checked the Google Fi settings and it's showing that I don't have any forwarding numbers set-up. Still working to get that one corrected.

- Service has been very reliable and I've tested across a number of geographic locations (DC, Kansas City, Atlanta, Seattle, OBX). The only location I've had issues with is OBX (Outer Banks of North Carolina) where the phone would switch to 3G on a regular basis.

- When using a WiFi connection, I've noticed that on occasion the system has a hard time routing the calls to me. Had a few people tell me they called but nothing appears in my call logs. This has only happened a few times but something I'll monitor.

- When using the WiFi connection on flights (Alaska Air and Southwest), I was able to make calls and have the my phone act in a normal manner.
IAD_PersonFinder is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2015, 8:06 am
  #57  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: DAB
Programs: DL PM UA PSilver Marriott Lifetime Plat, AMEX Platinum, Avis PC, UA MPPPlus
Posts: 961
Originally Posted by IAD_PersonFinder
Checked the Google Fi settings and it's showing that I don't have any forwarding numbers set-up. Still working to get that one corrected.
There's a not too obvious way to check forwarding in another place.

On a computer (not a phone/tablet running a mobile browser) load the Fi webpage and scroll down to the bottom. You will see a item marked "call forwarding" in the settings section, but look all the way to the bottom of the page. In grey type on a lighter grey background, in small type, it is easy to overlook.

Next to Help Center there is a link to Google Voice. Click this to get into GV and check forwarding (if any is set) for your line.
edweird is offline  
Old Aug 3, 2015, 9:15 am
  #58  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: IAD
Programs: United Premier Gold, *wood Gold
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by edweird
There's a not too obvious way to check forwarding in another place.

On a computer (not a phone/tablet running a mobile browser) load the Fi webpage and scroll down to the bottom. You will see a item marked "call forwarding" in the settings section, but look all the way to the bottom of the page. In grey type on a lighter grey background, in small type, it is easy to overlook.

Next to Help Center there is a link to Google Voice. Click this to get into GV and check forwarding (if any is set) for your line.
Thanks! I don't have any numbers showing in the Goolge Fi page but it did show when you switched to GV. Wasn't aware of the GV link at the bottom of the page.
IAD_PersonFinder is offline  
Old Sep 9, 2015, 11:43 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Western US
Programs: WN CP, WN A-List Preferred, AS MVPG 75k, SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 554
Anyone yet have any reports of primarily using Fi overseas for an extended period of time?

I'm curious if the service quality holds up over a period of time, or Google starts to send you nasty grams (throttles, cancels service) after using it exclusively out of the US for months on end while living abroad.
TheChallenge is offline  
Old Sep 10, 2015, 8:36 am
  #60  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Detroit; Formerly Dubai
Posts: 3,649
Originally Posted by TheChallenge
Anyone yet have any reports of primarily using Fi overseas for an extended period of time?

I'm curious if the service quality holds up over a period of time, or Google starts to send you nasty grams (throttles, cancels service) after using it exclusively out of the US for months on end while living abroad.
Unlike the person who has included roaming, why would they? You pay for every meg of data you use. Your non VOIP calls are surcharged. Text messaging seems like their only risk exposure.
Dubai Stu is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.