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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 May 5, 2023, 11:42 pm
  #1471  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo
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?
get a google voice number when your in the usa if you need a free number for things. Also pretty sure its free to call the usa when abroad and you have internet.
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Old May 6, 2023, 7:18 am
  #1472  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DAL
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Originally Posted by fbcooper
get a google voice number when your in the usa if you need a free number for things. Also pretty sure its free to call the usa when abroad and you have internet.
As long as GV is set to Prefer WiFi and mobile data, I have never been charged for calls back to the US.
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Old May 6, 2023, 9:58 am
  #1473  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEL
Posts: 1,049
Originally Posted by lhrsfo
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?
Same workaround for both: Google Voice, and set the app to prefer calling over wifi and mobile data. Use Fi as an occasional provider of mobile data only and use GV for your American calling/texting needs so it will continue to work when Fi is paused or if you cancel. We did this for years until dropping Fi in favor of the data eSIM du jour for travel; my primary U.S. number has been on GV for over a decade.
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Old May 6, 2023, 10:50 pm
  #1474  
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Originally Posted by fbcooper
get a google voice number when your in the usa if you need a free number for things. Also pretty sure its free to call the usa when abroad and you have internet.
That certainly wasn't my experience in Spain earlier this year. Though a penny a minute seems pretty reasonable.
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Old May 6, 2023, 11:48 pm
  #1475  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
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Originally Posted by MaxBuck
That certainly wasn't my experience in Spain earlier this year. Though a penny a minute seems pretty reasonable.
Calling to the U.S. and Canada is free with Google Voice. Calling local numbers while abroad is cheap. GV is a VoIP service so the rates are the same regardless of where you're sitting when you make the call. Service is blocked in some countries (or semi-blocked, e.g. GV can't call Indian numbers from within India) but they seem to make no effort to stop VPN use.

https://voice.google.com/rates
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Old May 7, 2023, 7:59 pm
  #1476  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: DAL
Posts: 1,371
Originally Posted by MaxBuck
That certainly wasn't my experience in Spain earlier this year. Though a penny a minute seems pretty reasonable.
You were charged by GV to call the US from Spain?

You may want to check the app setting for prefer WiFi and mobile data. I have called the US using GV from Germany, France and the UK without any charges. No charges for receiving calls and text while in Europe.
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Old May 10, 2023, 8:30 am
  #1477  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 66
Recently traveled from US through London to Lisbon. GoogleFi worked flawlessly and I received multiple messages even as the plane passed through countries like Scotland and Spain.
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 7:54 am
  #1478  
 
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We just landed in Paris and spouse and I have working cellular data on our Unlimited plan; son does not but is on the same plan as we are. Weve tried rebooting and toggling airplane off and on, confirmed roaming is on. Nothing seems to work.

Advice?
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 9:20 am
  #1479  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
We just landed in Paris and spouse and I have working cellular data on our Unlimited plan; son does not but is on the same plan as we are. Weve tried rebooting and toggling airplane off and on, confirmed roaming is on. Nothing seems to work.

Advice?
is roaming on in the cellular data settings as well, or in the cellular line settings down under ALLOW DATA ROAMING , on or off.

What device type are you using, ios or android?
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 1:28 pm
  #1480  
 
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Originally Posted by nmenaker
is roaming on in the cellular data settings as well, or in the cellular line settings down under ALLOW DATA ROAMING , on or off.

What device type are you using, ios or android?
it was on in the section Cellular data options. I didnt see anywhere else for that. Chatted with Fi and could not get it to work. Found a website that said do airplane mode for 15 seconds and then reboot. After all the other things I did, this finally worked. I am frustrated bc another son traveling soon on his own and I dont want him to have to deal with that. And I have no clue which thing I did made the difference! Where is the option ALLOW DATA ROAMING?
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 3:12 pm
  #1481  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Where is the option ALLOW DATA ROAMING?
It would help to know what device type you are using? IOS or Android?
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 7:04 pm
  #1482  
 
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Originally Posted by nmenaker
It would help to know what device type you are using? IOS or Android?
Ack. Sorry. iPhone 11.
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 7:16 pm
  #1483  
 
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Originally Posted by nmenaker
It would help to know what device type you are using? IOS or Android?
Ack. Sorry. iPhone 11.
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Old Jul 5, 2023, 7:59 pm
  #1484  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Ack. Sorry. iPhone 11.
Settings -> Cellular -> SIMs -> Google Fi (or "T-Mobile" if using the default name) -> Data Roaming (toggle switch)

You might also try restarting the device or disabling automatic network selection and choosing a carrier manually. Sometimes (international) network switching can be a little funky where it chooses a suboptimal cell provider.
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Old Jul 6, 2023, 3:03 am
  #1485  
 
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Originally Posted by Polytonic
Settings -> Cellular -> SIMs -> Google Fi (or "T-Mobile" if using the default name) -> Data Roaming (toggle switch)

You might also try restarting the device or disabling automatic network selection and choosing a carrier manually. Sometimes (international) network switching can be a little funky where it chooses a suboptimal cell provider.
Thanks. When I go to Cellular there is no SIMs option. Only sim pin or add sim. I did turn off automatic. Seems to be working now but was absolutely maddening. And no clue which step or process achieved it. Tried the stuff on here, online elsewhere, and via chat with Fi. 😩
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