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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

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Old Dec 25, 18, 8:33 am   -   Wikipost
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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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Old Feb 18, 19, 2:12 pm
  #901  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 370
Originally Posted by LAXlocal View Post
Looks like Google Fi website is selling the Moto X4 at $149 , if you start a new account, I am not sure about if you already have an account.
I really only want a dual SIM phone if I am buying to use with Fi , hopefully the cheaper Motos will start adding that.....
​​​​​
You don't need to start a new account - I have the offer in my existing account, and I ordered.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 3:18 pm
  #902  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 3,515
Will Fi's hotspot mode share a VPN connection?
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Old Feb 18, 19, 3:28 pm
  #903  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 370
Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
Will Fi's hotspot mode share a VPN connection?
Not completely on-target, but at least one answer here suggests it does:

https://support.google.com/fi/thread/410945?hl=en

I see that you can also disable the VPN in the phone if you want.
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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:32 pm
  #904  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 731
If you do not use the Moto X4 on Fi , you will be charged full price .......

Last edited by LAXlocal; Feb 18, 19 at 8:31 pm
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Old Feb 18, 19, 10:14 pm
  #905  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by LAXlocal View Post
If you do not use the Moto X4 on Fi , you will be charged full price .......
My plan is definitely to use it on Fi. I have an iPhone for T-Mobile that I use mainly. The X4 would be as a hotspot when traveling internationally. I'll activate it and then pause it and then un-pause while traveling.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 10:28 am
  #906  
 
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Thatís pretty much exactly what Iím doing. In answer to your above question, the moto works great as a hotspot, in fact sometimes too good, if I forget to turn it off at the hotel my iPhone seems to prioritise that over the hotel WiFi.

battery life on it is particularly good
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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:07 am
  #907  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Thatís pretty much exactly what Iím doing. In answer to your above question, the moto works great as a hotspot, in fact sometimes too good, if I forget to turn it off at the hotel my iPhone seems to prioritise that over the hotel WiFi.

battery life on it is particularly good
That's great. I've been trying multiple ways to get T-Mo to activate my eSIM so I could use the physical Fi SIM, but now I'll just stop that waste of time.

With my luck, the day my X4 lands, both Fi and T-Mo will fully support eSIM.
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Old Feb 19, 19, 12:55 pm
  #908  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 323
So is Fi as good as it appears for the "we'll be in Europe for 10 days and need a phone, but don't want to pay Verizon's ridiculous '$10 per day per line' charge" scenario? Normally I just get a SIM for wherever we're going, but for this trip we need to know our phone numbers ahead of time for a few reasons, and Fi appears to be a good way to accomplish this.

I checked the "Bringing my own device" page, and our phones (Verizon LG G6) are supported. So my plan was:

1. Get 2 Fi SIMs, activate them, make note of the numbers to hand them out as needed.
2. Suspend the Fi service until we're about to depart, so that we can keep using our phones on our Verizon plan. (We're not switching permanently; at least not yet. So I won't be porting our numbers. Depending on our experience, switching to Fi MAY be an option, but not just yet.)
3. Shortly before we leave, put the Fi SIMs back in the Verizon phones, resume service, and enjoy our trip. (Advantage - no need to swap SIMs mid-trip, yet our phones will just work when we get back home to call for our ride )
4. When we get home, suspend Fi service again, go back to the Verizon SIMs, and go on with life.

For the above for two of us, it looks like it'll be $20 (line 1) + $15 (line 2) + $10/GB (pro-rated for partial use of 1GB chunks), plus roaming fees on any voice calls (free SMS)?

A few questions:
1. Do I even need to purchase any data at all for this use case? Looking at Fi's international support page I see "Note: The data you use outside of the U.S. is charged separately from your monthly data budget, which covers data use only within the U.S.". I take this to mean we'll be billed for any data use in Europe after we're home. Is ALL data use post-billed like that, or does one have to sign up for some minimum amount?
2. I see we can be suspended for 3 months. How are you billed during that time? We'll only actually be "using" Fi for ~12 days, is the base $35 pro-rated as well? (Wishful thinking?)
3. Following on #2 : how often can you suspend/resume before they just cancel your account? We travel to Europe 1 or 2 times a year, so a 3 month suspend period isn't quite long enough. I don't actually mind just cancelling and getting a new number each time we go, but reusing the number would be nice. (If we ultimately decide to switch from Verizon to Fi, well, that's different...)

Last edited by GregLeg; Feb 19, 19 at 1:23 pm
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Old Feb 19, 19, 7:21 pm
  #909  
 
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Canít answer everything, on plane about to depart, but line rental, data, everything is pro rated.

Zero charges while service paused.

i believe after 3 months you can just re-pause.

i do the opposite, I use fi on the 4/5 times a year Iím in USA, and no problems, though itís now becoming my default roaming phone. (Ex eu and ex USA)
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Old Feb 19, 19, 8:05 pm
  #910  
 
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If your travel is upcoming BestBuy does sell fi sims for $10 each but that comes with a $10 service credit making them effectively free.

You pay up front for the monthly line charge (calls & texts) which are a flat rate and then after use you'll be billed for your data usage. I suggest activating a few days before just to make sure there isn't an issue but that's really just to make sure vs out of a legitimate sense of caution.

Originally Posted by GregLeg View Post
So is Fi as good as it appears for the "we'll be in Europe for 10 days and need a phone, but don't want to pay Verizon's ridiculous '$10 per day per line' charge" scenario? Normally I just get a SIM for wherever we're going, but for this trip we need to know our phone numbers ahead of time for a few reasons, and Fi appears to be a good way to accomplish this.

I checked the "Bringing my own device" page, and our phones (Verizon LG G6) are supported. So my plan was:

1. Get 2 Fi SIMs, activate them, make note of the numbers to hand them out as needed.
2. Suspend the Fi service until we're about to depart, so that we can keep using our phones on our Verizon plan. (We're not switching permanently; at least not yet. So I won't be porting our numbers. Depending on our experience, switching to Fi MAY be an option, but not just yet.)
3. Shortly before we leave, put the Fi SIMs back in the Verizon phones, resume service, and enjoy our trip. (Advantage - no need to swap SIMs mid-trip, yet our phones will just work when we get back home to call for our ride )
4. When we get home, suspend Fi service again, go back to the Verizon SIMs, and go on with life.

For the above for two of us, it looks like it'll be $20 (line 1) + $15 (line 2) + $10/GB (pro-rated for partial use of 1GB chunks), plus roaming fees on any voice calls (free SMS)?

A few questions:
1. Do I even need to purchase any data at all for this use case? Looking at Fi's international support page I see "Note: The data you use outside of the U.S. is charged separately from your monthly data budget, which covers data use only within the U.S.". I take this to mean we'll be billed for any data use in Europe after we're home. Is ALL data use post-billed like that, or does one have to sign up for some minimum amount?
2. I see we can be suspended for 3 months. How are you billed during that time? We'll only actually be "using" Fi for ~12 days, is the base $35 pro-rated as well? (Wishful thinking?)
3. Following on #2 : how often can you suspend/resume before they just cancel your account? We travel to Europe 1 or 2 times a year, so a 3 month suspend period isn't quite long enough. I don't actually mind just cancelling and getting a new number each time we go, but reusing the number would be nice. (If we ultimately decide to switch from Verizon to Fi, well, that's different...)
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:05 pm
  #911  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
If your travel is upcoming BestBuy does sell fi sims for $10 each but that comes with a $10 service credit making them effectively free.

You pay up front for the monthly line charge (calls & texts) which are a flat rate and then after use you'll be billed for your data usage. I suggest activating a few days before just to make sure there isn't an issue but that's really just to make sure vs out of a legitimate sense of caution.
There is a caveat however, (which may not apply to you if you're activating in the US) - when I got my fi sim (samsung 8+) in Dec every time I took the sim out (to change sd card) it told me I had to activate the sim anew - even tho it had been activated in the same phone. Apparently it can only be activated in the US - b/c when I was overseas they always asked me if I was in the US before telling me to take the sim out. Other people I met in Bangkok (with a pixel and iphone) did not have this issue.
I've not had the same activation message when I took the sim out last week (in the US) - so I don't know if it has changed, was a glitch, was specific to my "non fi" phone. Perhaps others can chime in
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Old Feb 19, 19, 9:54 pm
  #912  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 323
Thanks, everyone! I do see the availability of the Fi sims in Best Buy, and was planning on doing exactly that. I was probably actually going to pick them up soon to play with and make sure they're functional (we depart at the end of March). Not only does having the cards before we leave allow us to have the phone number ready, we can also swap sims before we leave for the airport and not have to worry about misplacing the home sims somewhere (never been an issue, but there's always that One Time...)

Good warning on the strangeness with needing to (re)activate in the US; I plan on just leaving the sims alone anyway, so hopefully that won't be an issue.

I'll report back on our experience after our trip. Thanks!
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Old Feb 19, 19, 10:30 pm
  #913  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Anyone have any experience of activating a data sim abroad?

Just activated mine, showing as active on my account, have it in my iPhone and it's showing 3g full signal, but I get the message:

"could not activate mobile data network, you are not subscribed to a mobile data service"
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Old Feb 19, 19, 11:12 pm
  #914  
 
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Anyone have any experience of activating a data sim abroad?

Just activated mine, showing as active on my account, have it in my iPhone and it's showing 3g full signal, but I get the message:

"could not activate mobile data network, you are not subscribed to a mobile data service"
see my post #911
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Old Feb 20, 19, 12:17 am
  #915  
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
Anyone have any experience of activating a data sim abroad?

Just activated mine, showing as active on my account, have it in my iPhone and it's showing 3g full signal, but I get the message:

"could not activate mobile data network, you are not subscribed to a mobile data service"
Had this when I first got my Fi SIM. The first activation must be in the US where they can contact the base network they use which I think is tmo.

After that I haven't had the issue, but now and then I have to move the SIM from my iPhone to my Pixel to get on a new network when I arrive in a new country. This isn't always the case. For instance I flew from Tokyo to Singapore via Seoul. When I landed in Seoul it worked fine, landed in Singapore and couldn't get a network until I popped it into my Pixel and then back into the iPhone.
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