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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.
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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Mar 30, 2023, 1:11 am
  #1441  
IMH
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Originally Posted by draver
Perhaps if you can chat on line with a Fi rep [...] they can create the QR code from your current line and email it to you [...]
I appreciate the suggestion, but it seems wiser to avoid human-to-human contact with anyone at Fi while I'm outside the US.

If anyone has Fi running as a second eSIM on an iPhone, especially if Fi was previously on a different phone, do please share. Thanks!
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 7:40 am
  #1442  
 
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Just an fyi for anyone who was shut down... my gf is using an eSIM via MobiMatter... 12GB's for $40, good for 365 days. Honestly, at that price, better than Fi unless one uses more than 6GB per month.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 8:07 am
  #1443  
 
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So it appears now that you can activate on iPhone, including eSIM, directly, without first activating on Android and transferring?

I was looking at their plans. The Flexible at $17 plus taxes and fees gives you 10 GB and youd pay $10 for each addition GB.

https://fi.google.com/about/plans/?u...rc=aw.ds&pli=1

But that 10 GB covers US as well as international use for a given month?

The Simply Unlimited is $20 plus fees and taxes but is unlimited in the US and doesnt have any data outside North America. Data slows down after 35 GB.

Unlimited Plus is $40 plus taxes and fees, unlimited tethering but slows down after $50 GB.

Has anyone gone over 50 GB in a billing period, including a lot of data use in a billing period and have experienced this slowdown?


I know they just started but interested to hear about 5G international data.


Also is anyone using Google Fi on an iPad and using a lot of hot spot data for their phones and laptops while overseas?


Ive used over 50 GB data on some 2-3 week trips overseas, obviously with prepaid local data SIMs. If Google Fi allowed that in more countries than the ones with really competitive prepaid data (you can get over 50 GB prepaid data for about $20-30 in countries like Spain and Italy), Id sign up for a month or two at a time on my iPad whenever I traveled.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 9:00 am
  #1444  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
So it appears now that you can activate on iPhone, including eSIM, directly, without first activating on Android and transferring?

I was looking at their plans. The Flexible at $17 plus taxes and fees gives you 10 GB and you’d pay $10 for each addition GB.

https://fi.google.com/about/plans/?u...rc=aw.ds&pli=1

But that 10 GB covers US as well as international use for a given month?

The Simply Unlimited is $20 plus fees and taxes but is unlimited in the US and doesn’t have any data outside North America. Data slows down after 35 GB.

Unlimited Plus is $40 plus taxes and fees, unlimited tethering but slows down after $50 GB.

Has anyone gone over 50 GB in a billing period, including a lot of data use in a billing period and have experienced this slowdown?


I know they just started but interested to hear about 5G international data.


Also is anyone using Google Fi on an iPad and using a lot of hot spot data for their phones and laptops while overseas?


I’ve used over 50 GB data on some 2-3 week trips overseas, obviously with prepaid local data SIMs. If Google Fi allowed that in more countries than the ones with really competitive prepaid data (you can get over 50 GB prepaid data for about $20-30 in countries like Spain and Italy), I’d sign up for a month or two at a time on my iPad whenever I traveled.
This looks pretty interesting to have 10GB of data for int’l travel, but where does it point out that it COMES with 10GB of data for the 17$ plus taxes?

And technically for a line of 1, it’s 20$, then 18$, till one gets to 17$ per line once one reaches three lines
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 12:39 pm
  #1445  
 
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That link in my post, scroll down to the side by side tables below.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 12:56 pm
  #1446  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
That link in my post, scroll down to the side by side tables below.
yes, I’ve looked there.. it only says $10/GB, but I can’t see where it would indicate that one gets some 10 GB allotment of Data for that plan. It only notes that Unlimited Plus has Free data internationally while the Flexible plans has $10/GB.. so to me it doesn't’ indicate any 10GB allotment first, then $10/GB for overage?
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 1:08 pm
  #1447  
 
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Scroll down to the section where it says International Features, look at the far right box in the table under Data traveling outside the US, Canada & Mexico.


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Old Mar 30, 2023, 1:24 pm
  #1448  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
Scroll down to the section where it says International Features, look at the far right box in the table under Data traveling outside the US, Canada & Mexico.


yes, I see that.. but does “$10/GB in over 200 destinations” somehow indicate an initial 10GB allotment for the $20-$17 per line plan price and then another $10 per additional GB? Frankly, that would be sort of silly. I tried clicking in the pop-ups, but nothing shows anything about 10GB being included, and then another $10/GB thereafter. Not that I can see at least.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 1:28 pm
  #1449  
 
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Oh I didn't mean to imply that though it is ambiguous.

Chances are it's not 10 GB and probably not from your domestic bucket either.

I'd be willing to sign up for the $40 plan which is unlimited, to replace the T-Mobile plan.

However, I'm wary about the slowdown in speeds after 50 GB. Most of the time, I don't come anywhere near that but when I travel and I have a lot of cheap data, I will use it for everything, not even touch hotel wifi, which is often spotty.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 1:47 pm
  #1450  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
I know they just started but interested to hear about 5G international data.


Also is anyone using Google Fi on an iPad and using a lot of hot spot data for their phones and laptops while overseas?
I had 5G in Canada (see above). So far in Italy Im only getting LTE, but it could also be a limitation of cellphone bands in use and/or available to my phone.

I have a data only SIM in my iPad Pro, no problems with that either. I have not attempted to go over 50 GB though.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 2:21 pm
  #1451  
 
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Originally Posted by Polytonic
I had 5G in Canada (see above). So far in Italy I’m only getting LTE, but it could also be a limitation of cellphone bands in use and/or available to my phone.

I have a data only SIM in my iPad Pro, no problems with that either. I have not attempted to go over 50 GB though.
Which carrier is it roaming on?

Some carriers may only reserve 5G for their postpaid customers.

Same thing with eSIMs.


Pretty sure I got 5G with TIM last year in Italy. I don't recall what my iPhone 13 Pro Max was getting roaming on T-Mobile.

Funny thing is I got some amount of high speed data via T-Mobile on one of my trips even though it's something you're suppose to pay extra for.


Maybe towards the end of your trip, if your also near the end of your billing cycle, you can download some movies or TV shows and try to get over the 50 GB threshold.

T-Mobile warned me that I was near my 10 GB high speed tethering limit when I downloaded some movies on my iPad via the hotspot on my iPhone. I found a great reception area where I was getting well over 500 Mbps so I really wanted to see how fast.

HBO Max and Xfinity Stream apps were downloading very fast, hour shows would download in a few minutes, normally it would take 30-60 minutes or more on hotel wifi.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 7:39 pm
  #1452  
 
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The Flexible plan does not include any GB. If you use 1GB then its $10 on top of the monthly fee. I asked in a chat a while ago.

Im on the Simply Unlimited plan with three family members and something odd happened. All of us had to use our phones as hotspots on a trip recently. 3/4 registered 0GB used despite several GB used per person. 1/4 registered 5GB and capped out. No more hotspot for him. This is t about international travel obviously but a DP for domestic use.
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Old Mar 30, 2023, 9:57 pm
  #1453  
 
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I emailed Fi support and they said you have to get a phone plan and then you can add a data-only plan and SIM to an iPad.

You can't just directly add an iPad SIM.

So maybe it may be worth activating a physical SIM on an iPhone and then using it in an iPad for international trips where I would use the iPad to serve as hotspot for all other devices since it's got a bigger battery.

The idea would be to use a lot of data since I'd be paying $40 for the most expensive plan. Still curious about the slowdown after 50 GB though, if they really do that, then you can do better than $40 for 50 GB of high speed data in many countries.


Has anyone turned off or paused (if they offer such an option) a Google Fi plan from month to month and toggle it back on here and there? Or maybe switch from one of the lower-priced plans to the higher priced ones for those months when they will be traveling overseas and then back down again to one of the lower-priced plans?

Or once you turn off, you have to establish new service again, go through activation, maybe paying activation fees, maybe not retaining the first number you had received?

I guess alternatively, I could use the Google Fi in my iPhone and get a big power bank so if I'm doing heavy hot spotting, I won't be out of juice if I'm most of the day.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 12:57 am
  #1454  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by frappant
Has anyone turned off or paused (if they offer such an option) a Google Fi plan from month to month and toggle it back on here and there? Or maybe switch from one of the lower-priced plans to the higher priced ones for those months when they will be traveling overseas and then back down again to one of the lower-priced plans?

Or once you turn off, you have to establish new service again, go through activation, maybe paying activation fees, maybe not retaining the first number you had received?
I paused and resumed Fi for years, though one of the countries I used Fi to visit was the U.S. so I never got cut off for excessive overseas use. You can pause it for 3 months at a time, but nothing stops you from letting it resume and then pausing it a couple hours later. Fi prorates billing by the hour, so each resume/pause cycle results in a monthly bill of less than $1. I lived in Belgium at the time, so I used Fi for trips anywhere my Belgian service didn't roam for free.

That use case isn't really worth it anymore, though--cheap eSIMs and/or "worldwide" plans from 3HK and Flexiroam are nearly always better options. I cancelled Fi as soon as we had eSIM-capable phones.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 1:13 am
  #1455  
 
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer
I paused and resumed Fi for years, though one of the countries I used Fi to visit was the U.S. so I never got cut off for excessive overseas use. You can pause it for 3 months at a time, but nothing stops you from letting it resume and then pausing it a couple hours later. Fi prorates billing by the hour, so each resume/pause cycle results in a monthly bill of less than $1. I lived in Belgium at the time, so I used Fi for trips anywhere my Belgian service didn't roam for free.

That use case isn't really worth it anymore, though--cheap eSIMs and/or "worldwide" plans from 3HK and Flexiroam are nearly always better options. I cancelled Fi as soon as we had eSIM-capable phones.
Hmm, thanks for the tips on the eSIM options, though the ones I've seen seem more expensive than local SIMs you'd get in country. But I will check them out.

Google Fi says pausing multiple times is against their terms of service. You can do it but at some point they may clamp down.

I went to chat with them and they said I can change from the basic $20 to the $40 Unlimited Plus plan back and forth.

They also said that they would provision a data-only SIM for iPads for no additional cost (no activation or higher monthly bills). However, you're limited to whatever data bucket your bill is, including the throttling at different thresholds depending on the plan to 256 kbps, or basically T-Mobile free international roaming speeds.
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