In GIANT BOLD: $50
In smaller font: "each"
In even smaller font: "$150/mo" is finally explained
"High-speed data up to 22 GB/person & slower after." is not unlimited data when the "slower after" speeds can barely load google's search page. It is, 'high-speed data up to 22 GB/person & slower after". Do we need to start throwing around a dictionary definition of the word unlimited? This is getting old...
Just because it's google, doesn't mean they get a pass on car-salesman type sleazy sales tactics.
Why not just advertise it plainly? This method of advertising makes someone like me less likely to buy this product.
>In even smaller font: "$150/mo" is finally explained
That is really, truly, unfair. The font size choice is quite reasonable, and makes it easily readable.
Here's what it would look like if the text was the same size:
>"High-speed data up to 22 GB/person & slower after." is not unlimited data when the "slower after" speeds can barely load google's search page. It is, 'high-speed data up to 22 GB/person & slower after". Do we need to start throwing around a dictionary definition of the word unlimited? This is getting old...
I use Freedom (previously known as Wind) in Canada, and their "slower speeds" on the unlimited plans are more than satisfactory. I don't even notice that I'm throttled until I check my text messages.
As a result, I reach 12GB+ on my 6GB plan almost every month.
So for me, their unlimited plan is very much unlimited.
Yeah, but it's insulting. "Unlimited" is not unlimited with a fucking limit, doesn't matter how reasonable or unreasonable it is. Every time I look at an ad I gotta sit there and look for asterisks or numbers, and then find the fine print where the actual information is contained, not just the marketing wank.
How about just tell me how much your fucking thing costs in plain fucking English? Maybe I don't want to decipher your advert like it's a goddamn Captcha. $150 for Unlimited (assuming it was actually unlimited, which it's not) isn't even an unreasonable price, but when you lead with $50, and then oh by the way it's actually $150, oh and by the way it's limited, you've made what is logically a good deal now look tremendously worse for your effort of trying to "hook" me.
How about just tell me what it costs, you know, like you're an honest seller of a product and I'm a grown fucking man who you have an ounce of respect for?
There are lots of things I would do with something truly unlimited that I couldn't do with 22GB.
A criticism is that it is not clear if the "may stream 480p video" refers to the slower after and whether it is a "guarantee" or not really a possibility.
But for the rest it also explicitly tells you the maximum amount you might end up paying each month. Honestly do not see what you are complaining about.
The top couple percent of T-Mobile USA users use over 50GB of data a month, mostly on unlimited plans without hard throttles. An "unlimited" plan that hard throttles at 22GB of usage is decietful given this context, hence all other carriers not using hard throttles on Unlimited plans.
All 4 major US carriers would brand this plan as a 22GB plan with no overages.
What are you smoking? Every one of Verizon's plans that have caps identical to this are "unlimited"
With a hard throttle there is no way a user could burn 200GB a month over LTE, but with deprioritization you still get full LTE speeds on most cell towers.
Actually meant "WILL unconditionally throttle you after 1 bit more than your quota, even in an evacuated area at 3am, to 128 or even 64kbps".
Like, email and even google maps, no problem. Facebook perfectly usable although with some lag. I didn't bother trying to watch videos.
I have been curious if the usability of "throttled" speeds differs between carriers.
Uh-huh. Missing video means the service is unusable.
Yeah, quality gets awful at that speed. For reference, the 'unlimited 480p' type of feature is six times that fast, 1.5Mbps.
If my phone throttled to 2Mbps, it wouldn't affect me very much. 0.25Mbps is not acceptable.
Here's what it would look like if they weren't trying to obfuscate the total:
Well, I do notice. Especially when I'm trying to operate telepresence robots or the like and the video streams crap out while you're trying to navigate. Or when I'm trying to work on my laptop outdoors far away from home and need to download lots of things over LTE.
Just because you only use 140-byte messages doesn't mean others who are trying to live the future don't notice.
>As a result, I reach 12GB+ on my 6GB plan almost every month. So for me, their unlimited plan is very much unlimited.
It isn't unlimited for me. I can easily hit 22GB.
Unlimited means unlimited, and 22GB isn't unlimited.
"10 easy payments of 15 dollars!"
Also, do you really want Google owning even more of the internet?
If an ad for a lab oscilloscope were made that way, nobody would ever buy it.
Taking a page from Freedom Mobile, the new plans offer ‘unlimited’ data in that they don’t include data overage fees. Instead, once subscribers go over their monthly data allotment, Rogers caps their data speeds at 256Kbps until the start of their next billing cycle.
10GB full speed.
"speeds may be optimized"??? Optimized for who?
Every jurisdiction I've been in that charges a consumption tax requires it be shown on the receipt, regardless of whether it was advertised as inc or ex tax.
Right, and that is the argument used against free tax returns in the US. They want taxes to be painful enough so that filing your taxes makes you think about them (and hence you would support the party that lowers taxes etc.)
Overall, this dubious logic will never go away.
A colleague of mine was told by a Swiss mobile phone provider that "unlimited" was a technical term meaning 5GB.
Within Switzerland all major carriers (Swisscom, Sunrise & Salt) have no data cap on their unlimited subscriptions.
On their Unlimited Europe subscriptions both Swisscom & Sunrise are capped at 40gb/month (while still being advertised as "unlimited"). Only Salt is truely unlimited there.
Still rip off compared to European prices/offers (€25 for actually unlimited).
It looks like Google Fi needs to work harder to be able to break into the Oz market (if it had any inclination to).
So, I guess unlimited means 100GB, and that's the best-case scenario. Okay then?
The bigger the font the more skeptical you should be. Always read the fine print.
So it will be equally fast if only a few people use the service (e. g. outside of populous areas), and much slower otherwise.
So it's not like they are going to have their network underloaded just to squeeze more money from customers.
If that hypothesis is true, it does not sound that bad.
If you use more than 15 GB of data in a cycle on the Fi Flexible plan or more than 22 GB in a cycle on the Fi Unlimited plan (less than 1% of individual Fi users as of Jan. 2018), you'll experience slower speeds (256 kbps) above those respective data thresholds until your next billing cycle begins.
If you need significant amounts of high speed data, you can opt to pay $10/GB for the data you use past the data threshold for your plan in a given cycle (15GB for Flexible or 22GB for Unlimited).
These data thresholds are based on individual data usage, not group data usage.
Since Google isn't actually deploying the cell networks and they actually use a mixed set of providers, I am not sure if this assumption makes sense.
If the mobile network T-Mobile is overloaded with T-Mobile customers and has a small fraction of Google ones, then Google will tell T-Mobile to throttle the customers that exceeded their contract limit?
Of course they are, why wouldn't they? It's not like it's any worse than any other "unlimited" plan you can get and giving out 10x more usage at 0x more cost isn't helping their margins while trying to get heavy users to pay per gig is.
Based on that, and the fact that I rarely hit the cap, it isn't worth switching.
However, Google Fi Unlimited also gives unlimited international calls to many countries. That might make it worth switching, at least for months I'm traveling.
Can see the benefit of Fi for people that have to do international calls regularly and don't want to futz with switching between their cellphone and a voip service.
I used to have Verizon $50/7GB/unlimited plan (no contract) which was essentially unlimited high speed for me since this was roughly my monthly usage. My total payment per month after taxes was $55/mo.
I stupidly switched to Fi because I liked the idea of unlimited data sims. Now I pay $85/mo after taxes and never use the data on the additional sims.
I was excited seeing the announcement - but this offers me personally no benefit.
I want to add in for those that don't know. There's a difference between throttling and deprioritization. Throttling usually kicks in as some specified speed at the IP network's level(like 256kbps). This isn't going to make a difference whether you're close to a tower or far away. It will make a massive difference on your battery life if your user equipment has to stay transmitting forever to complete transfers (this is a big problem when roaming on t-mobile's throttled international plans, battery life is obliterated).
Deprioritization is very different. The radio layer (called radio access network) of the tower (specifically the sector) that you're connected to controls how much time your device gets using a QoS scheduler. Stuff like voice always takes priority no matter what, since it all goes over the same data network now. I'm going to try to explain this below in easier to comprehend language...
In LTE, resources can be allocated out to a device as resource blocks. Each layer allows up to 100 physical resource blocks at any given time. Depending on the quality of the signal (how far away you are and how many people are using it), the blocks can be broadcast at different MCS levels. This controls the amount of error correction and the amount of data that can be carried per resource block. So when you're stuck at cell fringes and only allowed to get less than 5 resource blocks at an instant, the transfer rates will be slow. When you're close and allowed to use higher orders of modulation with less error correction (256QAM broadcast 4x4 MIMO), the performance loss isn't going to be as noticeable.
Deprioritization can be worked around by connecting to a different sector that isn't as busy. It's also assessed pretty quickly, something like 20ms the radio scheduling happens. Sprint's the only network afaik that posts something even slightly technical to the general public: https://www.sprint.com/en/legal/open-internet-information.ht...
If you get the fi info app, it can fill your clipboard with a switch carrier sequence you paste into your dialer and it will switch you to one of the alternate carriers.
It may help your situation.
##FIUSC## (US Cellular) <- Have never used this though
##FINEXT## (Next carrier)
##FIAUTO## (Switch back to auto)
I never got the app, though I really wanted to at first, thinking it did this automatically, but all it does is paste in the dialer codes. Why would I pay for that?
I had a Pixel 2 XL back in the old "Project Fi" days, I had to manually switch basically every time my phone selected Sprint as the carrier because it was so slow. After the rebrand and the expansion to allow other phones but only route them to T-Mobile, I switched phones, and I genuinely get better coverage. (This isn't too just due to the phone hardware, either; on my old phone, the data speed would be fine after manually switching from Sprint to T-Mobile, so the benefit seems to be that I don't actually ever get routed to Sprint anymore)
And unlike T-mobile, 480p throttled video counts against your data use.
This seems awful.
note I'm pretty sure it's calls from USA to other countries, and that the rates calling from outside USA to USA and other countries is the same rate as the Flexible plan.
Given Jack Dorsey's recent Sim swapping experience coupled with countless cryptocurrency SIM swapping horror stories, it feels like Google Fi is necessary. The only negative thing I have heard about Google Fi is the requirement to pay per GB. This point is now moot.
I use Google Fi outside the country and put the plan back in pause while I'm in the US. I'm very satisfied with them but don't trust Google enough to switch my main number.
Source: the website
The chat folks seem much better than most, none of the crap where they don't understand and just waste your time. They had to the power to change my account, fix problems, and gasp actually got back to me.
Conversely, I've noticed that my cell service is significantly better (call quality, coverage, etc.) abroad than it is in the SF Bay Area.
In a different thread, people were complaining that Google Fi doesn't let you tether while roaming. Is that false? Or is it just a limitation for certain phones?
What doesn't get mentioned enough is that 128/256kbps roaming absolutely kills your battery because the phone's radio has to stay on so much longer.
"On the Fi Flexible plan, video streams at 1080p (Full HD quality). On the Fi Unlimited plan, video may be streamed at 480p (DVD quality)."
They're not really trying to discriminate between types of data, they're trying to lower the 95th percentile.
Right now I'm about a week into fighting with support, so far unsuccessfully, to get back $40 in charges for device protection on a device that was deactivated months ago. Their response: "it's your duty to remove device protection when deactivating a device."
This is after more than a year of struggling with WiFi tethering issues. I've had a ton of problems with the hotspot dropping WiFi connections and other weird networking problems where the phone suddenly stops routing traffic correctly (I suspect it's something to do with the network swap). In the ~10 times I've contacted them about the issue, support has been absolutely terrible. They usually take about 30 minutes before they even figure out what tethering is, only to suggest I install OS updates or swap out my phone for the nth time.
Everything is done via an app, you get the Verizon network with unlimited LTE (though you do get de-prioritized during congestion, but I've found it to be fine in the bay area).
It's $40/month which includes all local fees/taxes and it's no contract.
Only downside is no cellular support for the Apple Watch.
I've heard many similar problems when people buy random international versions of the phone off ebay.
Now, with two people and no phone financing, our bill is a combined $80 a month most months.
I don't see why I'd use this Unlimited plan, given that it's much more expensive.
Also, unrelated: Google Fi has been amazing when travelling abroad (Dominican Republic and Thailand, specifically). Full signal and no added charges everywhere there.
Sadly, my wife and I are planning to go back to Verizon just to get iPhones.
Fi supports iPhones somewhat. The coverage isn't quite as good, due to lack of support for using multiple networks simultaneously, but it works.
Even throttled fi, which is very slow, is twice the speed of t-mobile’s regular speed... I can’t imagine trying to check out photos of a few place to compare on maps with those speeds.
I'm not sure what the official stance is on tethering but I think it's just throttled. I bring my own device and I have never experienced throttling or denial of tethering thought so Idk.
You can even edit playlists on the desktop and play those playlists on the car. Said playlist will auto download to your phone.
You are better off in a group plan (unlimited data) with friends on TMobile. it ll cost you lot less.
Pixel 3 user here. I pay $30/month on average.
What on Earth are you torrenting on your phone? I've never used more than 5 GB data in a month. Just wait till you're back on wifi before watching YouTube...
I had a family plan through t-mobile and after years of getting more expensive per month (no enterprise discount, increasing number of taxes/fees, etc) I switched to google fi and halved my bill.
Some tips for those trying to minimize bandwidth:
1) tell google phones to backup pictures/videos on wifi
2) preload maps for any cities you visit more than monthly
3) get a podcast app (if you listen) that preloads them when
4) get youtube red ($10 a month) for no ads, downloadable youtube
videos, and downloading your top 500 songs.
With the above, even when traveling quite a bit I average 1-2GB a month. I generally use nav every time I drive just to get the traffic info/warnings.
Good for you.
I'm on WiFi at home and at work, and I just checked my bill and I used 5.53GB last month, and my wife used 9.72GB. I don't consider either of us to be heavy mobile users, especially since we can't get cell service in our home.
For cost-sensitive people who are content with T-Mobile networks and open to MVNOs, I suggest looking at Mint Mobile. The best ongoing rates are had when you buy in bulk: $15/20/25 for 3/8/12 GB LTE per month, as a 12-month package. It also has unlimited voice/sms, and it throttles rather than charging extra when you exhaust your LTE quota.
Oh, and they also support T-Mobile's WiFi calling, so you can have phone service in your home without cell signal...
If you have a spare phone, I highly recommend a Mint trial. There is a 7-day starter pack, which gives you two SIMs and lets you test briefly with a temporary number and then reactivate on the second SIM if you wish to port in your existing number. But, I thought the $45 pack was so cheap that I used it for a longer 3-month trial, after which I was happy to keep it alive as my new main service.
You also have to think about whether you care to keep your old grandfathered plan, i.e. on a backup phone. I kept mine because I can keep it alive for $5/year if not using minutes. But, I imagine I may drop it some day if it cannot be relied on to actually place an emergency call...
It was more tempting when I traveled internationally more. But now I'm down to just a few trips a year, and I don't ever call home. So this GFi unlimited plan isn't cost-competitive with my AT&T plan when taxes are added.
Maybe next time. It seems to be a good fit for certain profiles, and people on HN who have that profile seem to really like it. But it doesn't seem ready for mass adoption yet. It's certainly not the "disruptor" we'd expect from SV.
That's not really unlimited.
They were advertising plans as "unlimited" with shaping.
The court found that the advertising was misleading and were unable to continue advertising it.
If Fi was released as advertised in Australia it'd also most likely be found as misleading advertising and not allowed.
I was surprised by how good this service is and by how fast google support answered when I had some questions
They should open it to more countries and not only for U.S citizens
The desire for these "easy to understand" data plans instead results in really inefficient network operation. Throughput collapses in busy areas during business hours even if you pay for the super mega ultra unlimited plan, because everyone is using their "unthrottled" data. Meanwhile if off-peak usage were more discounted (say, $0.10/GB instead of $10/GB) many people would probably be able to give up their home internet service.
This is one of my gripes with net neutrality, mostly on cell networks. It ignores how the network operates and that saturating a link at 3AM is different that 5PM.
> From a UI perspective this...would be pretty straight-forward.
Not really. "You're about to stream a video. Tap to accept the 15 cent network surge fee."
But say, people might schedule their Steam downloader to only update games in off-peak hours. And apps might have features that cache content automatically during off peak to save their users money.
This is a phone. At that stuff is set to use wifi.
Grandparent comment suggests otherwise. Note that my personal preference would be for both wireless and landline services to meter data use fairly, and then ideally have such an off-peak mechanic to encourage scheduling high data use activities.
Thus making off-peak hours perpetually on-peak?
Nothing stopping you having a passive meter in the top corner showing an average spend rate, e.g. $0.05/last hr or something. Put spending limits in and you're fine.
I myself have a republic connection which IMHO opinion is very similar and has a very similar plan getting bandwidth from different carriers to operate. Republic is much better for some reason in terms of coverage and is cheaper as well.
Overall I am appalled by the cost of mobile data and internet in the USA compared to countries like India. Reliance JIO just changed the game in India with the unlimited data and every other provider was forced to up their game. Not seeing anything like that happening here.
For example my phone plan costs over $100AUD so that I can get a measly 1GB of international roaming data.. this seems like it would be a better option?
Having said that, the international roaming is the best offer that I know of from a US provider and I could easily see it being worth it for anyone who travels often. They also just added free calling to 50 countries on this unlimited plan, so that's also a great bonus if you work internationally often.
If you keep asking for data... they keep sending it. Sounds unlimited to me.
If you rent a car and it says "unlimited mileage. Speed reduced to 3 mph after the first 10 miles". The car keeps driving, it is "unlimited" but useless for normal usage.
Netflix and youtube will simply not work (buffering for 5 seconds every 3 seconds is not working), but you can keep using it for "whatever"* (*maybe, sometimes, for the first 10 days).
Using a phone with "only" DVD quality streaming video is still perfectly usable. Sure it's not HD quality, but if you are streaming over 22TB a month a small decrease and video quality isn't a big deal. How much are you going to see on a small phone screen anyways?
They say that while still under 22GB you might get only DVD quality (fine. I don't care).
After that you are throttled.
On the Fi Flexible plan, video streams at the highest available quality. On the Fi Unlimited plan, video may be streamed at 480p (DVD quality).
It doesn't say anything about less than DVD. So assuming good signal strength/infrastructure you'll likely get better than DVD for 22GB then "only" DVD after.
- On the Flexible plan, while under your data limit, video streams are at the highest available quality.
- On the Unlimited plan, while under your data limit, video streams are at DVD quality, even if you have a very good signal.
The throttling is in addition to that:
> If you use more than 15 GB of data in a cycle on the Fi Flexible plan or more than 22 GB in a cycle on the Fi Unlimited plan (less than 1% of individual Fi users as of Jan. 2018), you'll experience slower speeds (256 kbps) above those respective data thresholds until your next billing cycle begins.
What you are proposing would be completely fine (throttling to DVD speed), what they are actually doing is "throttling so even just reading websites or google searches becomes annoying".
Sonic.net sells unlimited bidirectional gigabit fiber.
And they're profitable. Why can't Google do it?
Their only limitation is: "Operation of servers for commercial purposes by non-Enterprise customers. Note that it is acceptable to use servers for private or personal use (such as servers to access content in your home and applications that have server capabilities such as multiplayer gaming) and for small business customers to operate private (in-profile) servers for business purposes."
I agree with you though, it's false advertising. They should all be fined and banned from falsely using the world "unlimited".
So much for net neutrality. How far Google has come.
Not really sure why anyone would stream video at more than 480p on a phone, and I have no idea how they could implement that anywhere except YouTube and maybe a couple partners (Netflix?) but that may be worth trying the Flexible plan, which is still pretty great for roaming.
However, I commend the Fi team for working out the details for international travelers. I used it for a 20+ country, Asia/Europe trip with 0 complaints. China/Russia/Thailand/etc....always just worked! Very amazing, and probably saved me hundreds from avoiding those scammy airport SIM cards everywhere.
I was a bit worried about leaving Fi since I had an upcoming trip to Europe since they offer the "built in roaming" but it really wasnt an issue
Verizon unlimited 100$ bucks for 75 gig
Can any one who uses lots of data detail for what it is used? I never use more than 300 megs per month. Browsing the occasional web page is fun, but I've always gotten most of my big files off-line before I went somewhere. I don't do streaming media, so that's probably part of it, too.
Back when I was on Fi I used ~2-3 gig/month. Switched to an unlimited plan on Tmobile (with throttling at 50g) and now I'm using 6-9 because I don't have to worry about it.
Fi was the second hardest service from Google to give up though, because their service is just better than competitors. Only Tmobile can remotely compare. But their customer service is... Google. I might have even stayed, but I switched to iPhone and Fi only gives half baked token support for iPhone.
By the way, I'd recommend this youtube client: https://f-droid.org/en/packages/org.schabi.newpipe/
Open-source, and allows downloading. Much better than the bloated default client, too.
I am on corporate phone plan, and probably more than half of my data is work related videos and photos (robotics, people love videos lol).
How do they manage that over TLS?