Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-28-2018, 08:30 PM   #1
Guru
 
menzies's Avatar
 
City: Jacksonville
Country: USA
Vessel Name: SONAS
Vessel Model: Grand Alaskan 53
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3,660
Google Fi Mobile Plan

Anyone on it.

Feedback? Especially interested in the foreign roaming aspect at the same rate as domestic.

https://fi.google.com/about/plan/?ut...gn=rebrand_hpp
__________________
Advertisement

menzies is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 07:44 AM   #2
Guru
 
CaptTom's Avatar
 
City: Southern Maine
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Prairie 36 Coastal Cruiser
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 1,736
I've been using it for 8 months now. Haven't been international with it yet, but I hear good things.

To me, the big plus is that the cell service uses multiple carriers, notably AT&T, T-Mobile and US Cellular. I'd switched from AT&T. There are areas in Northern Maine where only US Cellular has coverage, so it's very handy when I cruise Down East.

The other benefit, for me, is a significantly lower bill. I don't use a lot of cellular data, so I've probably averaged just over $30 per month. The highest bill so far was $41, and the lowest $23. That includes all taxes and fees. No doubt it would be more if I was underway more, but this past summer we didn't cruise as much as other years. Still, I was paying $45 plus taxes to use AT&T through StraightTalk, so I'm way ahead.

The one benefit I haven't exploited much yet (that I know of) is the automatic use of Voice over IP (VIOP) when cell service isn't available but WiFi is. Or maybe it's happening all the time and I just don't notice.

The thing that really surprised me (even thought I knew it should work) was when I received texts on an airplane. The airlines now have WiFi in the cabin, so I always put my phone on "airplane mode" (no radios) and then turn on the WiFi radio only. Google Fi happily uses that for text (which normally go only cellular.) I realized it would be the same for voice calls. So in theory, I could make and receive calls on the plane! Of course I'd avoid doing that to my fellow passengers, but it's nice to know I could, if I had to.
__________________

CaptTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 08:42 AM   #3
Veteran Member
 
AdmiralS's Avatar
 
City: Stony Point, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Varka
Vessel Model: Ranger Tugs R-27 & Helmsman 43 PH
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 95
I have had it for over 2 years now and am very happy with it.

I travel internationally at least twice a month and it is great for that. Canada, Europe, and Asia have not been an issue.

Agree with everything CaptTom says above.

I use a dataonly SIM on my Netgear LTE modem on the boat so we have internet on the move. This has no additional cost and just adds onto the data.

Wonderful service and highly recommend.
AdmiralS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 08:44 AM   #4
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,564
The true test would be coverage outside the US. A few years ago we looked at T Mobile for the Bahamas. The claimed better speeds than BTC. As it turned out, it was a lot worse. If I was traveling internationally it would be worth a test but I wouldn’t cancel my old plan right away.
Larry M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 08:46 AM   #5
TF Site Team
 
Larry M's Avatar
 
City: JAX, FL
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Hobo
Vessel Model: Krogen 42-120
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 7,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralS View Post
I have had it for over 2 years now and am very happy with it. i travel internationally at least twice a month and it is great for that.

Agree with everything CaptTom says above.

I use a dataonly SIM on my Netgear LTE modem on the boat so we have internet on the move. This has no additional cost and just adds onto the data.

Wonderful service and highly recommend.
That’s good to hear.
Larry M is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 09:16 AM   #6
Guru
 
djmarchand's Avatar
 
City: Litchfield, Ct/Punta Gorda, Fl
Country: USA
Vessel Model: Atlas Pompano 23- outboard
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4,335
I think I understand how this system works: It uses wifi for voice, text and internet usage when a wifi hot spot is available, otherwise it uses one of the three cell providers noted above. I am a little surprised at the number of wifi hot spots. Does it possibly use Xfinity's system which seems to be quite wide spread in the US?

I wonder how it makes calls from outside the US. Does it have reciprocal privileges with foreign providers? Or maybe international calls are only made from wifi hot spots.

Does it support non voice devices like tablets? Our current Verizon plan covers our four devices: two phones and two tablets with a total of 6 GB per month of data. When I go into Fi's website and enter 4 people to correspond with 4 devices and 6 GB of data it shows $125 ex tax and fees as the monthly cost which is within a buck of my Verizon monthly bill.

I guess it would be worth switching if it really did handle calls from outside the US through cellular carriers, but I don't see how they do that.

David
djmarchand is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 01:14 PM   #7
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,532
I've been using it for about a year, and got it exclusively for international use. In sort, it's excellent.


ATT and Verizon's international data roaming plans are awful. You get some combination of:


1) Roaming on the crappy old networks, e.g. 3G or even Edge/2G instead of 4G/LTE


2) Very limited data before you get put into some sort of limp mode at sub-dialup speeds.


3) Very expensive/limited data plan roaming on the good networks.


I got the FI phone before heading to Mexico this time last year to use primarily for data, but also for voice. It was as a replacement for a Verizon USB modem that I have, and an ATT mifi hotspot. My purchase was 100% driven by international data roaming capabilities and services.



The Google FI device is vastly superior in pretty much all ways. The base plan is $20/ month, so low cost to carry when not in active use. Then you pay $0.20/min for international roaming calls, which I can live with. You pay for data up to I think 6GB, then the next 6GB is no extra charge. Above that they might throttle you, but you also have the option to buy more. I never exceeded 12GB even though it was the primary data for our whole boat and everything on it. I set it up as a hotspot (no extra charge), and connected the boat's wifi extender to it, just as you would connect to a marina's wifi.


Throughout Mexico, I got better data service though the google phone than through any marina. Now you might say "oh, but it's Mexico", but I found the same true in the US as well. I think I could count on one hand the number of marina's is the last 4 years with usable wifi.


In the past month or two I have spent over 3 weeks in Europe, and used the Google FI phone there as well with no issues. This most recent trip, I tried something different, and didn't set up any international plan for my phone or iPad. Normally I set up a de minimis plan for each as a back up. Instead, I connected my phone and iPad to the Google phone hotspot, and used ATT wifi calling through the google phone. It worked great, and saved me between $60 and $120 for the crappy international plans on my phone and iPad that I usually get.


Worth noting is that when the phone is acting as a hotspot, it can't also be connected to a wifi service, so 100% of my communications was via LTE data service, even my "wifi calling" phone calls from my usual phone. Someone speculated that it uses wifi whenever possible and does wifi calling. It might try, but I have never seen it connected to a wifi access point that I haven't explicitly enabled. So it's certainly not a dependency for the service.



I'm off to Asia soon for a week and will see how it works there too.


The down side from my perspective is that it only works on select Android phones. I hadn't used one before, and oh my god what a confused and inconsistent splatter of functionality those phones are. But I've powered through.


And related to that, I got a note from Google just today saying that they would be supporting a broader range of phones including iPhones, but with certain reduced capabilities. I don't know what those reduced capabilities are, but will be checking it out and might move my primary service to them at some point.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I think I understand how this system works: It uses wifi for voice, text and internet usage when a wifi hot spot is available, otherwise it uses one of the three cell providers noted above. I am a little surprised at the number of wifi hot spots. Does it possibly use Xfinity's system which seems to be quite wide spread in the US?

You are probably right, but I haven't ever seen mine connect to any wifi that I haven't explicitly connected to. And when using it as a wifi hotspot, it can't connect to another wifi service. So it's fully functional just using the cellular data and voice services, even if that's not it's first choice. But as I write this, I guess I don't know if it's using cellular data service for voice calls, or if it's using the voice service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I wonder how it makes calls from outside the US. Does it have reciprocal privileges with foreign providers? Or maybe international calls are only made from wifi hot spots.

International roaming calls are definitely not limited to wifi, so I think they must have reciprocal agreements. They would need them anyway for cellular data services, right?


Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Does it support non voice devices like tablets? Our current Verizon plan covers our four devices: two phones and two tablets with a total of 6 GB per month of data. When I go into Fi's website and enter 4 people to correspond with 4 devices and 6 GB of data it shows $125 ex tax and fees as the monthly cost which is within a buck of my Verizon monthly bill.

I didn't try to set up service on more than one device. But when using that device as a hot spot, I don't think there are any limits on the number of other devices that you can connect. Some other services limit the number of hotspot clients, and/or limit data speed and quantity.



But I don't think that's what you are asking. I think you are looking at moving 4 devices from Verizon the FI. For domestic use, I expect the pricing is about the same. I wouldn't have signed up just for domestic service. To me, the big difference is in the international data roaming service.


Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
I guess it would be worth switching if it really did handle calls from outside the US through cellular carriers, but I don't see how they do that.

David

My guess would be that it's via reciprocal agreements just like Verizon and ATT. The only difference I could imagine is that they might be using data services only and using that for voice. But I expect the voice service would suffer if that were the case, and I didn't notice any issues.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 06:19 AM   #9
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,779
"I use a dataonly SIM on my Netgear LTE modem on the boat so we have internet on the move. This has no additional cost and just adds onto the data."


Do you think it would be an affordable solution for US locations where the Wi Fi is slow ,and useless in fog or rain ?
FF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 08:06 AM   #10
Veteran Member
 
AdmiralS's Avatar
 
City: Stony Point, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Varka
Vessel Model: Ranger Tugs R-27 & Helmsman 43 PH
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"I use a data-only SIM on my Netgear LTE modem on the boat so we have internet on the move. This has no additional cost and just adds onto the data."


Do you think it would be an affordable solution for US locations where the Wi Fi is slow ,and useless in fog or rain ?
With the introduction of the "Bill Protection" feature, this is now an affordable solution. You pay 20$ for 1 line. Then 10$ per 1gb of data, up to 6gb. That means my bill can never exceed 80$.

The data only sim adds up to that 6gb in addition to the smart phone. There is no throttling or datacap. Although if you abuse the service I am sure Google will have something to say about it.
AdmiralS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 08:44 AM   #11
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
"I use a dataonly SIM on my Netgear LTE modem on the boat so we have internet on the move. This has no additional cost and just adds onto the data."


Do you think it would be an affordable solution for US locations where the Wi Fi is slow ,and useless in fog or rain ?

Absolutely. I'd say we get 80-90% of our boat data service via cellular, largely because marina wifi is no poor.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 10:06 AM   #12
FF
Guru
 
FF's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 18,779
Is there a way to hook my Lenovo computer up to the phone I need to buy?


Can simply hook the phone to my new router?
FF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 10:10 AM   #13
Veteran Member
 
AdmiralS's Avatar
 
City: Stony Point, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Varka
Vessel Model: Ranger Tugs R-27 & Helmsman 43 PH
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by FF View Post
Is there a way to hook my Lenovo computer up to the phone I need to buy?


Can simply hook the phone to my new router?
You can share the cellular data connection with the laptop by enabling the hotspot on the cell phone. You would then select that wifi network from the laptop and you are all set.

You cannot connect the phone to your router. You would need a data sim and something like this to connect to your existing router -

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Modem...gear+lte+modem
AdmiralS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 01:04 PM   #14
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralS View Post
You can share the cellular data connection with the laptop by enabling the hotspot on the cell phone. You would then select that wifi network from the laptop and you are all set.

You cannot connect the phone to your router. You would need a data sim and something like this to connect to your existing router -

https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Modem...gear+lte+modem

That's one way. But many of us have devices from Wirie (sp?), Island Time, etc. that allow us to connect the whole boat to a shore/marina wifi access point. If you use that same device to instead connect to the phone operating as a wifi hotspot, then internet is available to the whole boat, just like if you were connected to a marina wifi service. We operate this way exclusively when on the boat and it works great.
__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 01:09 PM   #15
Veteran Member
 
AdmiralS's Avatar
 
City: Stony Point, NY
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Varka
Vessel Model: Ranger Tugs R-27 & Helmsman 43 PH
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 95
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
That's one way. But many of us have devices from Wirie (sp?), Island Time, etc. that allow us to connect the whole boat to a shore/marina wifi access point. If you use that same device to instead connect to the phone operating as a wifi hotspot, then internet is available to the whole boat, just like if you were connected to a marina wifi service. We operate this way exclusively when on the boat and it works great.
I do something similar with the Ubiquiti Bullet. The Netgear has a WAN port so it switches seamlessly between marina wifi and lte.

The wirie and most other devices are built off the Bullet
AdmiralS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-30-2018, 01:18 PM   #16
Guru
 
twistedtree's Avatar
 
City: Gloucester, MA
Country: USA
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 4,532
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdmiralS View Post
The wirie and most other devices are built off the Bullet

Exactly. Also the Mikrotik Groove which seems to be a bit more robust than the Ubiquity device.
__________________

__________________
www.MVTanglewood.com
twistedtree is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2006 - 2012