Why I Recommend Google Fi: Plan, Coverage, and Performance

Google Fi is a communicaton service designed for travelers by providing calling, texting, and data service using celluars and WiFi in more than 170 countries.

  • Support nearly all mobile phones.
  • Unlimited calls and texts.
  • Low rates for calls and free texts while traveling internationally.
  • Same rate for global mobile data.

Get $20 Fi credit: Join Google Fi

Shipping

For users owning mobile phones designed for Google Fi, such as Google Pixel and Moto G7, Google Fi eSIM could be enabled by installing Google Fi app from Play Store. Google Fi eSIM is compatible with another physical SIM card, which means that users could use them simultaneously.

Recently, Google Fi expanded its compatibility for more phone types, and the owners should order a free physical SIM card from Google. Shipping is free domestically; however, for user living in other countries, they have to rent a mailbox or contact international transportation services since Google won’t ship directly to addresses outside the united States.

Since I’m currently living in Vancouver, I rent a virtual address in Oregon from Reship. (Register with 6C9FB7J to receive $10 credit in future shipments.) It takes a week for my SIM card to arrive at that virtual address, and another week for reshipment.

Google Fi

Plan

Currently, Google Fi provides two plans: Unlimited and Flexible. More details could be found in Google Fi Plans.

Unlimited

  • Unlimited calls, texts and data: $70 per month plus taxes and government fees.
  • Unlimited data: High-speed data up to 22GB per person.
  • Free calls to 50 destinations.
  • Roaming outside the U.S.: Calling costs $0.2 per minute. (Low rates for WiFi calling)
  • Google One membership: 100GB cloud storage.
  • Mobile hotspot tethering.

Flexible

  • Unlimited calls, texts and data: $20 per month plus taxes and government fees.
  • Data: $10 per 1GB; free after 6GB.
  • Low rates for international calling: Calling rates.
  • Roaming outside the U.S.: Calling costs $0.2 per minute. (Low rates for WiFi calling)
  • Mobile hotspot tethering.

Speed and Coverage

United States

Google Fi cooperates with three local telecom operators in the U.S.: T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular, and the speed of data mainly depends on the coverage rate of local base stations. Nevertheless, for my own experience, their services are only available in prosperous areas, which means that network speed is quite limited or even unavailable in suburbs.

Canada

Google Fi cooperates with Bell and Telus in Canada, and the speed of 4G network mainly depends on the coverage rate of local base stations. Actually, network speed is faster than that in the U.S. probably due to the signal coverage near my home in Vancouver is better.

Mainland China

In mainland China, Google Fi roams through the networks of China Mobile and China Unicom, and the speed of 4G network depends on the coverage rate of their base stations. However, here are special features for Google Fi users in China:

  • Free from Internet censorship: Google, Youtube, Instagram and other banned websites are all available with Google Fi.
  • United States IP address: Netflix, Hulu, HBO and other geo-restricted streaming service are available with Google Fi.

While I went to China last Chirstmas, I decided to use Google Fi as the primary communication method because I had to verify my identity if I rent a local phone number. Network speed was really fast and I could access all the censored websites. However, the call quality was relatively low probably due to interference by government and WiFi calling didn’t work well in some circumstances since Google was banned in China.

Published by

Siujoeng Lau

Liberty will never perish.

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