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Old 05-01-2016, 13:05   #16
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Re: Google Fi for Sailors

Originally Posted by Bill4 View Post
Thanks for the heads up. Google Fi could be a game changer for cruisers.

We are still land based at the moment but already use 4G and mifi for our home broadband connection and it works extremely well with two laptops and a tablet tethered to it most of the time. We take the mifi device with us when we travel in the UK - it works great, but data costs abroad are too painful to mention.

Google Fi sounds like just the ticket for convenient connectivity anywhere, except for the fact that what we pay for 4G mifi per month for a 15GB allowance would only get us 3GB of data on Google Fi. We typically use about 12 - 15GB of data per month, so 3GB would fall way short, but maybe we wouldn't spend so much time surfing the internet when cruising

Maybe the data costs will fall over time once the service becomes more mainstream. That usually seems to be the way things work.
But you're comparing it to your home rate. As a roaming rate, $10 per gig is fabulous, incredible. I don't even live in the U.S., but I would consider paying $20 a month to have access to that roaming rate wherever I go. 10 euros per gigabyte is a pretty standard rate for a good local SIM card in Northern Europe. And you have to acquire that local SIM card every country you visit. I was in 10 countries on my summer cruise this summer. Acquiring the local SIM cards and keeping them topped up is pretty tiresome and inevitably there are gaps -- like when you're only going to be one day in a given country so not worth looking for a local SIM -- where you fall back on expensive roaming from some other service you have.

This also gives you voice calling everywhere for .20 a minute and unlimited free text messages, globally (!).

On top of that (!), you get VOIP rates for international calls. So Germany for 5.5c per minute. Compared to $2.50 or whatever T-Mobile charges me that's, what, 50x cheaper?

I think this sounds fabulous, myself, a game-changer. Thanks to the OP for bringing this up.
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We must have a turn together . . . . I undress . . . . hurry me out of sight of the land,
Cushion me soft . . . . rock me in billowy drowse,
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:24   #17
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Re: Google Fi for Sailors

Originally Posted by LLCoolDave View Post

(...) you can get real time weather updates, update charts, etc while offshore (...)
offshore, shore
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Old 05-01-2016, 13:47   #18
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Re: Google Fi for Sailors

Originally Posted by barnakiel View Post
offshore, shore
Agreed that updating weather/charts would be limited to coastal areas. At best it would be a backup to SSB/sat phone.

As another poster mentioned that on the google site they are only showing coverage for North America. They seem to be a little mum on the 120 countries they are claiming to partner with. Of course they are still in the beta phase and this is only being offered to people with an American address thus far.

Fingers crossed that the program is successful.


Here's the list of countries. Looks like roaming data will be limited to 256k per second. Slow by western standards but better than nothing.
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