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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 Mar 9, 19, 5:54 pm
  #961  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: stl
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I have a 3 1/2 year old nexus 5x that has seen better days. I only use fi out of the country and it works perfect for me. I also have an unlocked Iphone 7 which i recently put my fi sim card in. I am torn between using the iphone or buying a new fi phone.

My questions are:

How are the data speeds using an iphone while out of the country. I am pretty sure fi won't let me use it as a hotspot but is the data essentially the same as using a made for fi phone.

On my nexus if I make an international call while in wifi I do not get charged because it defaults to voip. I am pretty sure that is not the case on the iphone. Is this correct? As a work around I can move to facetime and whatsapp correct?
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Old Mar 10, 19, 1:21 am
  #962  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Belgium
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
How are the data speeds using an iphone while out of the country. I am pretty sure fi won't let me use it as a hotspot but is the data essentially the same as using a made for fi phone.

On my nexus if I make an international call while in wifi I do not get charged because it defaults to voip. I am pretty sure that is not the case on the iphone. Is this correct? As a work around I can move to facetime and whatsapp correct?
Data speeds should be roughly the same whether you use the iPhone or N5X because you're connecting to the same network. How fast that is varies by network, country, etc. One exception to this is that the iPhone supports more LTE bands than the 5X does, so you may see better speeds with the iPhone if you're in a country that uses a band it has that the 5X doesn't.

No matter what phone you use, the easiest way to guarantee that your Fi calls are VoIP is simply to use the Hangouts app to make the call. Even Nexus/Pixel phones don't always route calls over IP when connected to wifi, so when you're outside the US you should just use the Hangouts app to place all calls. But you're correct that the iPhone won't even try to route calls over IP. Facetime and whatsapp will work if your recipient uses them, but to make a "regular" phone call, you can use Hangouts. Calls made with Hangouts are charged the same as calls made from the US, which is also the same rates as Google Voice (free to the US, a couple cents/min for most of the industrialized world, etc.)
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Old Mar 10, 19, 1:53 pm
  #963  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Posts: 2,856
Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
Data speeds should be roughly the same whether you use the iPhone or N5X because you're connecting to the same network. How fast that is varies by network, country, etc. One exception to this is that the iPhone supports more LTE bands than the 5X does, so you may see better speeds with the iPhone if you're in a country that uses a band it has that the 5X doesn't.

No matter what phone you use, the easiest way to guarantee that your Fi calls are VoIP is simply to use the Hangouts app to make the call. Even Nexus/Pixel phones don't always route calls over IP when connected to wifi, so when you're outside the US you should just use the Hangouts app to place all calls. But you're correct that the iPhone won't even try to route calls over IP. Facetime and whatsapp will work if your recipient uses them, but to make a "regular" phone call, you can use Hangouts. Calls made with Hangouts are charged the same as calls made from the US, which is also the same rates as Google Voice (free to the US, a couple cents/min for most of the industrialized world, etc.)
Thanks for the quick reply. I put Hangouts on the iphone and it works fine. I am curious as to how it will bill me for calls that I make that incur charges. I don't see any way to buy funds like skype or add a payment method although google does have my credit card on file to bill fi to.
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Old Mar 10, 19, 3:26 pm
  #964  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Belgium
Posts: 700
Originally Posted by abk View Post
Thanks for the quick reply. I put Hangouts on the iphone and it works fine. I am curious as to how it will bill me for calls that I make that incur charges. I don't see any way to buy funds like skype or add a payment method although google does have my credit card on file to bill fi to.
Assuming you're using your Fi number, it'll show up on your Fi bill. (Unless you're calling the US or Canada, in which case it's free)

Last edited by der_saeufer; Mar 10, 19 at 3:34 pm
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Old Mar 10, 19, 11:29 pm
  #965  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: stl
Programs: AA LT Plat/8.1mm. SPG LT Titanium. UA 712,524 miles and no longer trying.
Posts: 2,856
Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
Assuming you're using your Fi number, it'll show up on your Fi bill. (Unless you're calling the US or Canada, in which case it's free)
Thanks so much for your help.
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Old Mar 18, 19, 10:34 pm
  #966  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 196
Where might I look for info regarding a credit or bonus applied to AirBnB.

Thanks!
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Old Mar 27, 19, 12:53 pm
  #967  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: I 35 south bound, finally stopped
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Posts: 898
Just back from New Zealand and Fiji near Savusavu. Mostly H, not much LTE in the south Island until we got to Christchurch. We were mostly northwest part of the south island for the first 5 days and signal was ok, because we were rural. Same for Franz Josef to Wanaka to CHC. We got out of CHC the day before the massacre.
Rural Rotorua would come and go. Great speed in AKL. Near Savusavu depended on where you were in relation to the cell tower, which you could see. Rain did effect signal strength, but did get occasional LTE, but mostly H. Overall pretty pleased.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 1:51 pm
  #968  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
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I am currently in Budapest and about 15:00 local t-Mobile’s international network seems to have crashed. Been down for almost 5 hours. Spoke with support who tried a bunch of things but didn’t resolve the issue. Messaged with a few friends of mine who are also traveling at the moment and most of them have been affected too. Frustrating but not much they can do which is the limit of Fi’s service.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 5:02 pm
  #969  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
I am currently in Budapest and about 15:00 local t-Mobileís international network seems to have crashed. Been down for almost 5 hours. Spoke with support who tried a bunch of things but didnít resolve the issue. Messaged with a few friends of mine who are also traveling at the moment and most of them have been affected too. Frustrating but not much they can do which is the limit of Fiís service.
Have you tried local free wifi yet? Many places offer free wifi.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 5:06 pm
  #970  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Originally Posted by Yoshi212 View Post
I am currently in Budapest and about 15:00 local t-Mobileís international network seems to have crashed. Been down for almost 5 hours. Spoke with support who tried a bunch of things but didnít resolve the issue. Messaged with a few friends of mine who are also traveling at the moment and most of them have been affected too. Frustrating but not much they can do which is the limit of Fiís service.
Are you posting this in the Fi forum b/c Fi uese tmo in the US? Wasn't aware they used it overseas as well (and it doesn't make much sense either b/c some countries that allow wifi calling on tmo don't on Fi)
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Old Apr 10, 19, 7:17 pm
  #971  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Posts: 2,856
I had paused my service and went to reactivate it yesterday. Nothing worked and was on the phone with fi for an hour before they told me they just learned that tmobile was having issues. Lasted all the way through late this afternoon. From what I can conclude they may use other services but they rely on Tmobile for things like activation of new account, pausing and restarting and now I am thinking also international roaming. There is a reddit thread on this that fi posts to.
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Old Apr 10, 19, 9:21 pm
  #972  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
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Originally Posted by abk View Post
I had paused my service and went to reactivate it yesterday. Nothing worked and was on the phone with fi for an hour before they told me they just learned that tmobile was having issues. Lasted all the way through late this afternoon. From what I can conclude they may use other services but they rely on Tmobile for things like activation of new account, pausing and restarting and now I am thinking also international roaming. There is a reddit thread on this that fi posts to.
Weird - I also had paused and reactived yesterday in Japan - I tried and got an error message without being connected to anything, then turned on the airport wifi and was activated instantly. When I landed in LA 12ish hours later everything worked okay.
btw how did u contact Fi cs while u were paused?
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Old Apr 10, 19, 10:45 pm
  #973  
abk
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Posts: 2,856
Originally Posted by estnet View Post
Weird - I also had paused and reactived yesterday in Japan - I tried and got an error message without being connected to anything, then turned on the airport wifi and was activated instantly. When I landed in LA 12ish hours later everything worked okay.
btw how did u contact Fi cs while u were paused?
yes, twice on Tuesday and once Wednesday morning as they told me things would be fixed Wednesday am. Wednesday afternoon I received a follow up email at 3:03 central time saying things were fixed and they were. I will say that this am my phone worked fine in wifi but didn't outside of it and that is why I called again. This is my second travel phone and I am glad it is not my main one.
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Old Apr 11, 19, 2:13 am
  #974  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: New York, NY
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Fi uses T-Mobile’s US domestic network and their international roaming partners to provide the global service. It’s 10am here and service is still not restored. Just spoke with a rather inept rep at Fi. Had trouble with my Pixel 3 XL connecting to WiFi for a few hours also. Was no problem for my iPad but now at least I have WiFi on my phone to download offline maps.
Update: Service is back.

Originally Posted by estnet View Post
Are you posting this in the Fi forum b/c Fi uese tmo in the US? Wasn't aware they used it overseas as well (and it doesn't make much sense either b/c some countries that allow wifi calling on tmo don't on Fi)

Last edited by Yoshi212; Apr 11, 19 at 3:49 am
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Old Apr 11, 19, 3:41 am
  #975  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Originally Posted by abk View Post

My questions are:
How are the data speeds using an iphone while out of the country. I am pretty sure fi won't let me use it as a hotspot but is the data essentially the same as using a made for fi phone.
Actually I think it will let you use it as a hotspot internationally. It does on a Google Fi phone, and If I recall correctly it did on an iphone 6 I was using last year.
Also If you use Straight Talk in the US and have a Google Fi phone, pm me.
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