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Old 20-12-2016, 07:19   #1
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Google Fi world cell phone plan

I'm not sure if it's been brought up much here but there is a cell phone plane through Google called Project Fi. It's a world phone that uses both types of towers cdma and gsm (or whatever they are called). Pretty basic billing and no crazy fees. It's $20 a month for unlimited calls, texts, and voicemail. Then $10 per GB you use. If you only use 2.5 Gb then the extra .5 is forwarded to next month so you get to use everything you pay for. It also connects to Google Wifi spots around the world. No roaming charges. Get on a plane in the US fly to Italy turn it on and use it with no worries about any extra costs.

Me and my wife just switched from Verizon. Here in the states they use Sprint, T-mobile, At&t, and US cellular towers. We are saving about $60-80 a month over Verizon. The biggest downside is you have to use one of a few phones that are dual band like the new Pixels, the Nexus 6P, or 5X.

I just thought this might be helpful especially cruising the Caribbean or I guess anywhere really. Check out their site for more details or chime in if you're already using it abroad. I'm not affiliated just a very happy customer! Great an easy customer service too, just hit a button for help and someone picks up the phone!

https://fi.google.com/about/
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Old 20-12-2016, 11:39   #2
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

Interesting option, I hadn't heard of it before. I don't guess it functions through satellite options while at sea does it?
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Old 20-12-2016, 12:45   #3
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

We've been using it for years now. Very good coverage but not "great" for high data users. We just added Direct TV Now $35/month on our other iphone/ATT - so free streaming of TV Seems to be a great combination
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Old 20-12-2016, 13:05   #4
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

I asked this question over the summer in the Grenada Cruisers Information group in Facebook. Many more T-Mobile users that were pretty happy. Some anecdotal usage of Google Fi by friends visiting who had decent service. Reportedly Google Fi was getting 3G service in areas where T-Mobile was 2G.

One downside to both is that you need a US address to get service.

We are frequent Caribbean cruisers, but not enought to give up our ATT service. It works well in the US, PR, USVI and parts of BVI with line of sight to St. John and St. Thomas. Outside of that, we use the $120 for 800mb roaming service, which is good for about two weeks of my usage.

I remain intrigued by Google Fi, but not enough to make the family move off of Apple iphones.

Cheers, RickG
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Old 20-12-2016, 14:51   #5
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

Global cell phone and plan is long overdue.

We've been with TMobile for 3 years now. Their 2g global data option is useless but cell phone and roaming data has good coverage.

Occasionally we've had 3g outside the US but not enough to be useful with their global data option

We recently signed up for their mifi. Unlimited streaming with 10 or 22 GB of browser data. That's still expensive but the free streaming is great.

If Google Fi data was cheaper we'd be in like flynn. We moved from Apple a few years back.
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Old 20-12-2016, 15:10   #6
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

Yup down here in the Caribbean we know boats using Google Fi and boats using T-mobile. My completely un-scientific conclusion is T-mobile is better. The Google Fi people usually pay more each month, have to purchase expensive devices, and never seem to have faster connections. They feel locked in as they bought expensive devices to have the service and are reluctant to change.

Unfortunately neither T-Mobile or Google Fi are available to non-usa cruisers. You require a USA address for either of those services. We just buy SIM cards on each island and have a unlocked 4G device aboard. Here in Antigua we have 8GB of 4G data for about $50 USD/month! It was similar in the islands south. If you do the math on Google Fi, it usually comes out more money (8GB is damn easy to blow through).
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:36   #7
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

Just a quick note. The Google Fi phones are not expensive compared to iPhones. The devices are able to function on either network so you can use them with T-Mobile if you wanted to switch carriers. You could also use it with the local SIM cards.

I could see where the data would be expensive if you had no other connections to the net. Here we have wifi at home and work. We've used less than 1gb of data over the 2 months we've had the phone. We are saving about $80 a month verses Verizon. Thanks for all the feedback. Good to know what works and what doesn't.
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Old 05-02-2017, 09:49   #8
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

I switched from ATT to Google Fi before we cast off to sail around the world for the purpose of being able to use data and my phone in most countries. It worked great in Mexico, the problem came when the phone was drowned in Cabo. You can only use the 3 phones they offer on their website, so I was able to get a new phone shipped to a friend of mine who brought it down to Mexico. But then after spending a couple of hours with customer service, it turned out that you can ONLY activate the new phone and sim when you're in the US. There's some activation towers that the phone must connect to and they are only in the States aparantly. I also found out that in Google Fi's terms of service it says that they reserve the right to turn the service off if used "exclusively" outside of the statss for long periods of time. Fortunately for me I was able to get the new Google Fi phone to work with my old SiM from the flooded phone. But who knows how long this setup will work.

I think I would have been better off buying an unlocked dual SIM card phone and using prepaid data sims in different countries.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:37   #9
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Re: Google Fi world cell phone plan

Great thread!! I'm always looking for new technologies and just a few minutes ago was reading about Google Fi and wondered how it would work. I've had a free Google phone # and messaging app that saves me minutes on my Verizon plan. Google is taking over my life, but they work great. However, I also have unlimited bandwidth, which I don't want to get rid of, but I know VZ is coming after customers like us. I try to stay one step ahead because the changes happen so quickly. I am still connected to dock power, but all my work is done remotely via lap top and phone.
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