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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 Mar 31, 2023, 1:23 am
  #1456  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEL
Posts: 1,049
Originally Posted by frappant
Google Fi says pausing multiple times is against their terms of service. You can do it but at some point they may clamp down.
Sounds like they finally got tired of it... but realistically the worst they can do is cancel your service and make you sign back up. If you're keeping it paused most of the time, that's not much of a punishment. Sure, you lose the number but the number is useless while paused anyway.

The data SIM is one thing that's still unique to Fi and--if it's something you need--a major point in favor of Fi over other service options.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 2:21 am
  #1457  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
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.
Local carrier in Rome appears to be TIM. I have some other options if I disable automatic carrier selection (Vodafone IT is the only other one I recognized). Signal quality was pretty bad on everything other than TIM.

I only have LTE on my T-Mobile plan as well. Or to be more clear, LTE on both plans.

Originally Posted by frappant
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.
Data SIMs are free, but youll need either the base plan or the unlimited plan. Ive got one in an iPad Pro, and can freely hotspot off either the phone or the iPad.
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 8:40 am
  #1458  
 
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I’m still intrigued by something upthread. Son has eSIM with his number paused (living in Europe). I need to unpause it soon bc the 6 month pause period runs out. But I’d like to use it stateside while he is away so that he can get off his international suspension sooner (and bc I’ll be paying for the service anyway). He has the eSIM turned off on his iPhone now. Could I put a SIM in an extra phone I have here and transfer his number to this phone?
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Old Mar 31, 2023, 8:14 pm
  #1459  
 
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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.
My gf is considering that option right now as well. Mobimatter's 3HK plans are much cheaper than Fi... problem is she loses the number. She barely uses it however, so we'll see. But for data... 3HK worldwide is quite cheap.
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Old Apr 1, 2023, 12:48 am
  #1460  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEL
Posts: 1,049
Originally Posted by TravelinSperry
My gf is considering that option right now as well. Mobimatter's 3HK plans are much cheaper than Fi... problem is she loses the number. She barely uses it however, so we'll see. But for data... 3HK worldwide is quite cheap.
You can always port the number to Google Voice for free when cancelling Fi if you want to keep it.
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der_saeufer is offline  
Old Apr 1, 2023, 12:58 am
  #1461  
 
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Originally Posted by TravelinSperry
My gf is considering that option right now as well. Mobimatter's 3HK plans are much cheaper than Fi... problem is she loses the number. She barely uses it however, so we'll see. But for data... 3HK worldwide is quite cheap.

Unless I miss something, you don't get the same volume of data.

So the prices quoted on the 3HK site are in HK Dollars, not USD?

What about on Flexiroam? They seem to be in Australia so the prices there are AUD?

With Google Fi Unlimited Plus, you're getting 50 GB before throttling for $40. I believe that's better than the options I've seen on 3HK or Flexiroam, at least when I took a quick look.

Great if you just get 1 or 3 or 5 GB but seems like once you go higher volume of data, you're getting up near $40 and well above it, if they even offer a lot more data for a country or region than 5 GB?
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Old Apr 1, 2023, 11:31 pm
  #1462  
 
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Originally Posted by frappant
Unless I miss something, you don't get the same volume of data.

So the prices quoted on the 3HK site are in HK Dollars, not USD?

What about on Flexiroam? They seem to be in Australia so the prices there are AUD?

With Google Fi Unlimited Plus, you're getting 50 GB before throttling for $40. I believe that's better than the options I've seen on 3HK or Flexiroam, at least when I took a quick look.

Great if you just get 1 or 3 or 5 GB but seems like once you go higher volume of data, you're getting up near $40 and well above it, if they even offer a lot more data for a country or region than 5 GB?
I show $40 USD for 30GB via 3HK in the US (and Australia, NZ, Canada, UK, and HK). When I go to Fi I see Unlimited for 35GB at $50 USD (+ taxes and fees). Of course, Fi includes a # for calls.

Originally Posted by der_saeufer
You can always port the number to Google Voice for free when cancelling Fi if you want to keep it.
She tried this and wasn't able to get it to work from abroad... Maybe we can try again via a VPN.
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Old Apr 5, 2023, 10:59 am
  #1463  
 
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Currently service is paused until 4/21. I would like to continue the pause up to the maximum of 6 months, but I would also like to downgrade my plan from premium to simply. There is no option to change the plan while paused. If I unpause, downgrade, and repause, what will the charge look like? I don't want to be charged for the premium service for a full month for unpausing a few minutes. I've looked through their site, but am having a hard to zeroing in on exactly what I'll be charged and when.
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Old Apr 5, 2023, 5:37 pm
  #1464  
 
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I'm leaving for Spain next week.

I had thought about getting the premium for at least a month on my iPad for $40 but I can get a Vodafone Spain SIM which offers much more data, like 100 GB for €15 or 140 GB for €20 currently, with roaming in the EU and the US.

https://www.vodafone.es/c/particular...as-de-prepago/

Most people don't use that kind of data but I've dealt with some dodgy hotel Wifi over the years.

With this much mobile data, I don't have to deal with being throttled or hotel wifi slowing down or not working.


The convenience of Google Fi eSIM would be great but the value proposition is not attractive enough for international trips. Of course if you just browse, email and maybe stream a video or two, then Google Fi is more than enough.
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Old Apr 6, 2023, 10:03 am
  #1465  
 
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Was just in Monaco and Google FI was not very good. It kept dropping out. It could have been the mountains.
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Old Apr 9, 2023, 4:18 pm
  #1466  
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I've had a GFi subscription since the early days, when you had to do absurd workaround just to get the service to work on an iPhone. At least it has improved drastically in that department.

I used to use it quite extensively when hopping over the pond, but lately I keep it paused 99% of the time - with EU 2022/612 it's easier than ever just to keep an EU number and avoid roaming fees altogether. I've since switched the Google Fi to eSIM and keep it for emergencies. Have used it in China and wider APAC without problems, and Google hasn't cut me off for pausing too much yet.

I do visit the US regularly, though, and I make sure to ping off the towers there just in case. Overall, for a backup service that works when you need it to and pauses when you don't, I have no complaints.
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Old Apr 9, 2023, 5:34 pm
  #1467  
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Originally Posted by mistytalon
I've had a GFi subscription since the early days, when you had to do absurd workaround just to get the service to work on an iPhone. At least it has improved drastically in that department.

I used to use it quite extensively when hopping over the pond, but lately I keep it paused 99% of the time - with EU 2022/612 it's easier than ever just to keep an EU number and avoid roaming fees altogether. I've since switched the Google Fi to eSIM and keep it for emergencies. Have used it in China and wider APAC without problems, and Google hasn't cut me off for pausing too much yet.

I do visit the US regularly, though, and I make sure to ping off the towers there just in case. Overall, for a backup service that works when you need it to and pauses when you don't, I have no complaints.
Can you elaborate?
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Old Apr 9, 2023, 6:27 pm
  #1468  
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Originally Posted by lsquare
Can you elaborate?
1. Pick your favourite country
2. Get a SIM card
3. Roam throughout the EEA, make sure you stay in the FUP
4. Top up before the card expires
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Old Apr 11, 2023, 2:37 am
  #1469  
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Originally Posted by mistytalon
1. Pick your favourite country
2. Get a SIM card
3. Roam throughout the EEA, make sure you stay in the FUP
4. Top up before the card expires
FUP?

Which SIM did you get?
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Old May 5, 2023, 9:47 am
  #1470  
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Originally Posted by mistytalon
I've had a GFi subscription since the early days, when you had to do absurd workaround just to get the service to work on an iPhone. At least it has improved drastically in that department.

I used to use it quite extensively when hopping over the pond, but lately I keep it paused 99% of the time - with EU 2022/612 it's easier than ever just to keep an EU number and avoid roaming fees altogether. I've since switched the Google Fi to eSIM and keep it for emergencies. Have used it in China and wider APAC without problems, and Google hasn't cut me off for pausing too much yet.

I do visit the US regularly, though, and I make sure to ping off the towers there just in case. Overall, for a backup service that works when you need it to and pauses when you don't, I have no complaints.
Two problems with this for me. First, by pausing, my US number stops working for calls and texts. Second, with an eSim in an iPhone, Google charge for calls to the USA whether on roaming or wifi.

Anyone have a workaround for this?
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