Google Fi Experience

Brian B
Brian B used Ask the Experts™
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Have been looking at Google Fi service and interested in others experience. Particularly how well it works outside of the US, since that's where I'll be using it most of the time.

I'm not looking for other carrier suggestions though.

Thanks!
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David FavorFractional CTO
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Fairly new service.

If you use this service, be sure to add comments to this question over time, reporting your experience too.
HelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
Hi Brian,
I tried to see what Fi uses overseas but could not find a direct answer =/

If they use T-Mobile for coverage like they do in the US, then I can speak on that. I've used T-Mobile in Mexico, Canada, and Ecuador and its been good. I only used text messaging, email, and light browsing/maps to look for things nearby, but it did what I asked it to at a decent enough speed.

As for T-Mobile coverage that Fi uses in the states, up and down California coverage is very good. There are areas on the freeway where I will lose coverage for a few miles, but in every city I've stayed at or needed to stop for gas/bathroom/snacks its worked well. Its also worked well in the places in Texas and New York I've visited.

Hope this helps!
Martin
Top Expert 2016
Commented:
In the US it is a good option.  Elsewhere not so much.  You are pretty much roaming when out of the US and cannot connect to one of the supported networks..
https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6343762?visit_id=1-636112914168303646-55005193&p=mobile_broadband_consumer_disclosure&rd=1
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Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer
Commented:
See these links for more info about travelling abroad on Google Fi:

https://fi.google.com/about/international-rates/
https://support.google.com/fi/answer/6157794?hl=en

I agree with Martin about Fi being based on TMobile and me having used a USA TMobile plan outside the US. Most likely when travelling aborad they wouldn't use the Sprint network since that's primarily USA anyways.

Please note that when travelling abroad the particular phone model you use is going to be hugely important. Every phone supports different frequencies and every provider in every country also supports different frequencies.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Author

Commented:
So it's basically what I thought. I use my cell phone for voice calls very little. So the per minute charge shouldn't be too much of an issue. There is also have an app to make calls via my VoIP home service, but I don't know how reliable it is. So have to research that.

Texts are free no matter where you are and the data rate doesn't change. I'd have to look at my current usage, but I would estimate 90% of my usage is places where there is wifi.

I guess one consideration is if I have a US cell number, that it may affect people who are calling/texting me. Most cell companies won't stop you from doing something that is extra charge and it could lead to some surprise phone bills for the sender.
Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer

Commented:
I guess one consideration is if I have a US cell number, that it may affect people who are calling/texting me. Most cell companies won't stop you from doing something that is extra charge and it could lead to some surprise phone bills for the sender.

Your phone number is still a US based phone number when you're travelling abroad. If you're expecting calls and texts from US based people then nothing should change for them.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Author

Commented:
Should have been clear, I'm using it outside US most of the time because I live in Canada, but make frequent trips to the US.
Brandon LyonWeb Developer/Designer

Commented:
Yeah that might be a bit of a bummer then. I'm not familiar with Canadian telecom billing practices.
Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology Professional

Author

Commented:
To avoid the issue of people having to pay international rates to call/text me, I decided to go with a Canadian carrier. This is good info though that will hopefully help others.
Martin NguyenHelpDesk Technician
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Best of luck with a Canadian carrier. Google Fi seems to be under going some changes, and when things change at Google its not always a good thing. *shrug*

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