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Google Fi Unlimited Plan (fi.google.com)
176 points by jbredeche 25 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 249 comments

I hate this kind of advertising. It is bullshit and I am tired of it.


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 smaller font: "each"

>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.

> That is really, truly, unfair. The font size choice is quite reasonable, and makes it easily readable.

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?

I totally agree with this. 22GB is 22GB, not Unlimited. Just say it's 22GB.

There are lots of things I would do with something truly unlimited that I couldn't do with 22GB.

And I've paid a lot more than $150 a month for 8GB for a long time from Verizon. This is not a bad deal but is made to look like a bad deal, is my point, because the marketers just can't help themselves.

To be fair this is quite good actually in readability, it is not a captcha or an asterisk it is literally in the main box as one of the main points (the first of them)

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.

You might not notice 256kbps throttling, but most people will. Youtube stops working right, Bandcamp, Pandora & Spotify buffer, and browsing the web or navigating takes a bit to load.

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.

>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"


Verizon claims to deprioritize on busy towers rather than hard throttle you after a certain number of gigs. Same thing happens for T-Mobile, AT&T & Sprint.

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.

During the California fires emergency services found that Verizon's "MAY throttle you, on BUSY towers, in periods of HIGH traffic"...

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".

More Everything data pools get hard throttled to that speed after the data pool runs out, not deprioritized like newer plans. Still a shit thing for Verizon to do...

I have found my phone on Cricket (owned by AT&T) is surprisingly usable after data cap is reached and you are throttled.

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.

> surprisingly usable > I didn't bother trying to watch videos.

Uh-huh. Missing video means the service is unusable.

Oh, is that what people are complaining about? Fair enough, but not important to me. Are all the carriers "throttled" rates good enough to do most things but watch videos then?

Does an MVNO like Fi have that kind of control though?

Does being unable to offer something justify mischaracterizing what they can offer as if it were that thing?

Verizon does not hard throttle at 22 gigs.

> You might not notice 256kbps throttling, but most people will. Youtube stops working right, Bandcamp, Pandora & Spotify buffer, and browsing the web or navigating takes a bit to load.

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.

The unreasonable thing is putting the $50 number at the top when that's not what will be charged. I saw this and immediately compared $50 to my current bill. It's nice to include the per person number, but putting it giant at the top is confusing and deceptive.

Here's what it would look like if they weren't trying to obfuscate the total:


> 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.

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.

I am bot really sure what you are defending here. Unlimited means without limits. 22gb is a limit. I am glad 12gb is enough for you but its not for many.

Still a little sleazy... Reminds me of something like:

"10 easy payments of 15 dollars!" Also, do you really want Google owning even more of the internet?

Everytime talking about this, I do think living in China is a more affordable option, I have a plan(coperation perk) which offer me 20GB data, but after that it will be throttled to 100KB/s, which cost me 10 rmb/mon.

Slow speeds? Like throttling after you exceed a data cap?? In 2019?!? Crazy.

Yep. Looks like garbage to me. Someday "unlimited" will mean it, but right now it's just code for "actually quite limited but written in small print." I'll pass.

Unlimited used to mean unlimited.

In a marketing context it never meant that, same as "satisfaction guaranteed" doesn't mean what you expect. It really means "product has a fixed price with vendor defined service level" vs "defined service level and variable price according to usage". "Unmetered" might be a reasonable shorthand.

Oh, it's totally metered.

Now it means “caveat emptor.”

That's true and practically every statement made in an ad aimed at the general public should be taken with just as many buckets full of salt grains.

If an ad for a lab oscilloscope were made that way, nobody would ever buy it.

This isn't as bad as the recent campaign by Rogers in Canada for their "infinite" package.


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.

I was trying to find how slow the throttled speed was in their FAQ and came across this gorgeous piece of language: "Note that speeds may be optimized once an individual surpasses 15 GB of data usage on the Fi Flexible plan and 22 GB of data usage on the Fi Unlimited plan"

"speeds may be optimized"??? Optimized for who?

If the Chinese government were to ask that question they would probably get an answer. Mere mortals don't get answers from Google.

You forgot the + taxes & gov't fees part, which will make the final bill somewhere between $165 and $180.

That's another dark pattern. It's not like they don't know what the taxes and the fees are. They have the system that has exact amount of fees for every zip code in the US. Otherwise they couldn't bill you. Just ask for the zip code and give proper price. But no, that would make that nice $50 into ugly $180. TMobile gets it right - their price is final, what you see is what you pay.

That's a very US specific thing. There are different interest groups for or against taxes across different states that I doubt it would change any time soon. I would love for all advertised prices to be the final price (or very close based on reasonable estimates), but such a law would never get broad support. Taxes are such a taboo in the US that the government can't even offer free income tax returns.

Yes, so I can see how it can be hard for a small shop owner or a family restaurant to update their menus every time. But telecom vendor has these all implemented in their billing system anyway, and if there's a company that wouldn't have problem with either technical aspects nor budget to make their site show true price, that company is Google. They totally could do it if they wanted, they just prefer to post misleading prices because people allow them to get away with it.

Not so much a taboo for the public as a taboo for special interest group money. But it just needs a campaign to show that advertizing without tax makes taxes invisible, because you just pay it and gripe after, vs tax included and you change your purchase decision because it is too much money.

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.

>without tax makes taxes invisible

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.

Most of them aren’t even real taxes and government fees, yet the telecoms have been allowed to keep pretending for decades that their fake government taxes aren’t just hidden fees

> Do we need to start throwing around a dictionary definition of the word unlimited?

A colleague of mine was told by a Swiss mobile phone provider that "unlimited" was a technical term meaning 5GB.

I've had months where I used over 100 gigs on Salt's unlimited plan. I also have a co-worker who does the same with their Sunrise subscription, all without a problem.

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.

Ha ha, must have been swisscom? The salt unlimited, IME, was pretty unlimited. CHF45 (~USD45) per month unlimited.

It was years ago when Salt was still Orange.

What’s up with magic number of 22? NZ has that year ago when these plans started to appear, but has been bumped to over 30gb now.

Still rip off compared to European prices/offers (€25 for actually unlimited).

My plan (in Oz): $45 (AUD)/mo 50GB. So that works out as $30 USD/mo for 50GB.

It looks like Google Fi needs to work harder to be able to break into the Oz market (if it had any inclination to).

They wouldn't be able to use the term unlimited in Australia if there are limitations. Executives that approve misleading advertisements can be personally fined. https://www.accc.gov.au/media-release/telcos-on-notice-about...

The advertising rule should be that all font size should be the same, including the terms and conditions and small-text.

Assuming you use the bandwidth all the time, you have 256kbps speed, which effectively means at most 82GB transfer (and that's assuming the connection is used all the time, 24 hours in a day, which isn't gonna happen).

So, I guess unlimited means 100GB, and that's the best-case scenario. Okay then?

I think it's funny actually. It's probably a good parallel to human nature. We want to see big attractive signs and believe there are no fine prints and even if they're here most won't really read them.

Vendors of telecommunication services seem to be the worst offenders when it comes to “creative” interpretations of common terms.

The bigger the font the more skeptical you should be. Always read the fine print.

Does anyone believe the "talk to a human anytime" part? As you said ... It's Google!

Because they don't specify what would be the network speed after 22Gb limit reached, I suspect their "slower after" means they simply give traffic priority to those who haven't consumed their 22Gb.

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.

from their FAQ:

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.

I was wrong then. Thank you for the pointer!

For their original plan, the "slower after" was capped at 256 kb/s, it's not clear if the same applies to the unlimited plan.

> So it will be equally fast if only a few people use the service (e. g. outside of populous areas), and much slower otherwise.

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?

> So it's not like they are going to have their network underloaded just to squeeze more money from customers.

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.

I use Google Fi, and I don't think unlimited data is the headline feature here. If you look at the fine print on the existing "flexible" plan (search for "that’s a max bill of"), they already cap the maximum data cost; comparing the cap to the Fi Unlimited price, Fi Unlimited saves you very little, in exchange for never letting you pay less if you use less data.

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.

To stress the benefit of unlimited international calls, I recently got parents on a 'senior' plan with unlimited text/data. The catch though was $3/minute international calls even when the call is placed while on a wifi connection - their bill essentially doubled after a couple accidental international calls.

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 switched my mom's flip phone to a smartphone and just call home with whatsapp. I was worried about the transition but she was the one asking for it since all my aunts and uncles are on whatsapp as well. All the international calling with calling cards and whatnot have all gone.


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.

It does give you another 7 gigs of data before they start to throttle your data.

Google fi user here: when they throttle in areas with weak cell signal, the throttling is aggressive and internet practically doesn't work. It's very frustrating. "Throttling" isn't the right word.. maybe "crippling" is better.

> when they throttle in areas with weak cell signal, the throttling is aggressive and internet practically doesn't work.

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...

Also a Fi user, and the quality of my internet is almost entirely based on whether the carrier is Sprint or not. Sprint, at least around here, almost always has no upstream bandwidth, so you can't even get a request to go out.

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.

It's not hard to memorize it's 'FI' + $CODE. I switch regularly when I have poor connection:

##FITMO## (TMobile) ##FISPR## (Sprint) ##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?

> Also a Fi user, and the quality of my internet is almost entirely based on whether the carrier is Sprint or not. Sprint, at least around here, almost always has no upstream bandwidth, so you can't even get a request to go out.

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)

Except that apparently the new plan throttles video from the start.

And unlike T-mobile, 480p throttled video counts against your data use.

This seems awful.

Verizon does the same thing on their unlimited plan. Even their "better" plan only allows 720p. You can upgrade from there to 1080p for _another_ $10 / month.

> at least for months I'm traveling.

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.

When I'm traveling, I make almost all calls from wifi, so the "from" doesn't matter. (And I can already call home for free.) This would help in calling to other numbers in the same location.

Quite a bit cheaper if you can round up 3 other people for the plan, though.

Google Fi is the only provider that I know of to best protect against SIM swapping due to the fact that there is no human interface. An attacker would have to get control of you Google account in order to attack you—if this happens it is likely you have bigger issues than SIM swapping.

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.

The only issue is that it is Google.

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.

Bingo! They could "sunset" Fi on a whim when they get bored. Plus Google's poor record of customer service or rather AI Bot customer service - is what will keep away me from trying it.

"Poor record" is actually not my experience. Customer service with Fi and Google Store is pretty excellent. A lot of people in my network also have the same good experience.

I've been on Fi for 4 years, and it has been a very flexible, positive experience vs. the alternatives at that time. Even if they were to sunset it, I don't particularly see the risk; I would just change to another service.

Fi customer service is actually excellent. First level support is actually knowledgeable and trying to help you, as opposed to just being a wall trying to prevent you from reaching second level support. Also the wait times have never been more than 2-3 minutes for me.

Like the other comments noted, in my experience Fi support has been quite helpful and significantly better than standard Google support.

In my state, their coverage is pretty bad if you spend any time in the outdoors. Comparing the coverage of google-fi and verzion and att on highways through the mountains, its very stark. I'm also curious how they will fare when 2 of their 3 MVNO providers merge (sprint and tmobile)

Eventually service will improve. Presently Sprint and T-Mobile both dedicate spectrum to the same thing. They have to reserve some spectrum for legacy applications while optimizing for newer technologies. By combining their spectrum they might be able to reduce the aggregate spectrum necessary for legacy applications and better utilize spectrum fro newer technologies.

Avoiding overlaps helps with bandwidth. I don't know if it will help with coverage.

It might help with coverage as they aren’t needing 2x as many towers to cover the same area, thus potentially justifying adding towers in new places, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that happening in any broad way.

I've yet to hear anything good about the coverage in my city - New Orleans.

Meanwhile, my work phone on AT&T has some of the worst LTE coverage imaginable around town in the bay area - constantly without a meaningful data connection - while my wife's identical phone on Google Fi is almost never below fell bars, and her data connection is rock solid.

>Talk to a human anytime Whenever you have questions, talk or chat 24/7 with real, friendly people who are ready to help.

Source: the website

My only concern with that is -- what if you actually need human support?

They do have human support. I've called it when my phone unexpectedly bricked itself and after jumping through a few support hoops, they sent me a new one. It was not a bad experience.

I've had a few problems with my family plan and my parents. All resolved pretty quickly via chat. I'd much rather have a bit of lag/latency of chat than listening to that awful hold music with periodic "We appreciate you patience" that always triggers me to think the wait if over.

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.

Interestingly their human support has been good, considering how annoying and not helpful human support is with other Google services.

Google Fi has been amazing as a "digital nomad". Show up in country X and have a working phone with 4g/LTE + ability to tether. Local sim cards are cheaper, but you can't beat the ease of use.

Conversely, I've noticed that my cell service is significantly better (call quality, coverage, etc.) abroad than it is in the SF Bay Area.

> ability to tether

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?

Only for iPhones. Androids tether normally. It's due to agreements between Google and the carriers. I was able to tether with an iPhone in Costa Rica, but I've been to 20+ countries with it and it's been only one or two countries where it worked.

I had 0 problems tethering using Google Fi.

With an iPhone you can't tether while roaming. I bought a Huawei LTE router devices and popped in a data sim for when I'm traveling and the speeds are ludicrous. (Like, stream 1080p with zero issues, use 4GB in an hour. Dangerous on my limited plan)

As long as you start tethering before you're roaming, and don't let the connection drop, it keeps working while roaming.

That's because while roaming your phone chooses best signal available from all available carriers they have their roaming agreements signed with via UK Three, which is their proxy for roaming services.

Three's roaming agreements have good and bad countries. For example, in most of Russia they limit you to 64kbps, which isn't really usable.

I also get very poor service while in Bay Area but great outside of that. My fix is using a Fi Switch type of app to get off of Sprints network.

Have you tried Tmobile for international travel? I wonder how it compares. I belive it is cheaper than this plan.

T-Mobile limits you to 128/256kbps in international roaming. That worked great when it was introduced but nowadays I find that most apps are barely functional at 128kbps. While roaming, I want at least my messaging, mapping and email apps to work and everything else can wait till on WiFi. Even FB messenger and Google maps struggle at that.

Completely agree. I used Sprint's 128kbps roaming and it's better than nothing, but so many basic things just won't load. iMessage and Google Maps were decent (particularly if you download the map for offline).

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.

Interesting distinction between the new unlimited plan and the old one:

"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)."

If the internet is a dumb pipe, how does it know whether you're streaming video and at what rate?

When you are Google, the internet is not a dumb pipe. For example they can correlate the youtube videos you are watching from your phone.

Doesn't this violate net neutrality?

What net neutrality? Net neutrality was repealed over a year ago.

What net neutrality? And even when net neutrality rules were on the books, companies still got away with stuff like this.

In a minor way. The neutral alternative would be a system that allows bursting but then caps everything down to about 1.5Mbps.

They're not really trying to discriminate between types of data, they're trying to lower the 95th percentile.

Yes. There are no US wireless (LTE) carriers that offer L7-neutral internet access.

Other carriers do this too.

You can often circumvent those restrictions with a VPN.

Wonder if this is also one of the reasons that they try so hard to opt you into using their built-in "Google VPN"? Get some users that might otherwise use VPN software for "security in public places" to just trust Google instead.

Purely anecdotal, but my experience with Fi has been far less than ideal and I'm about ready to switch to another network.

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.

The device protection seems like it should be separate from the phone plan though? Unless the device protection is voided by canceling your service, it makes sense to not cancel those charges. You might deactivate the device and take it to another provider but still want it fixed if it breaks, right?

You could want that, but it's not the common case. Therefore, to me it sounds like something they should ask about when you deactivate service, and they should either have no default (force you to explicitly choose) or default it to canceling the device protection.

I've been pretty happy with Visible which is a Verizon owned MVNO (sort of, not sure if it's a true MVNO if Verizon owns them).

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.

What I recall about Visible is that they were started by former Verizon executives, might be a long-term play for a boomerang-style acquisition target

Are you using a pixel purchased from Google in the USA?

I've heard many similar problems when people buy random international versions of the phone off ebay.

When I switched to Google Fi, my phone bill dropped from $140 a month (Verizon, two people) to $60 a month (1 person), including the monthly finance charge for my phone.

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.

I use Fi on an iPhone, you don't have to switch if you don't want to - I certainly wouldn't.

> 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.

FWIW, I get better coverage with just T-Mobile on my OnePlus 6T than I did from Sprint/T-Mobile when I was on a Pixel phone; I generally had to manually switch the credit carrier whenever it selected Sprint because it was basically unusable due to how slow it was.

I pay $145 a month on T-Mobile for 6 lines with "unlimited" everything, international data, and discount international call/text.

Around the same for me as well. And I do find the "unlimited" is pretty much as advertised even with deprioritization since I live in a rural area. My average use on one of the lines is 250GB/mo. It usually sits around 35mbit down, 5mbit up... this compares favorably with cable options in my area.

I don't think I've ever been throttled though I go over the 2GB kickback limit every so often and it costs me $10.

T-Mobile international data is too slow. 128kbps at present. If you travel a lot, or even a little but use your phone a lot for on-the-fly planning, work, etc., Fi is a better option. In fact, that is Fi's greatest advantage for me.

I guess if you're playing on social media or youtube but it's fine for Maps, Email, and Messaging. When we were in Italy for a few weeks it was more than enough as most places had free WiFi.

In my experiences in Sweden and the Netherlands, it's a struggle to use T-Mobile's 2G international data to perform simple tasks, even using Maps and sending messages on Signal.

I just came back from Europe and opted to pay for the upgraded international T-Mobile plan since 2G is barely usable. LTE was around $35 for 15gb. It was way more useful than 2G but it also felt like I wasn't getting full LTE speeds for some reason.

Same here. WhatsApp seems to work fine but most other messaging apps struggle at 128kbps.

When _good_ Wi-Fi is readily available it really helps but I found that I can’t depend on it and it’s much more convenient to have fast service on my phone. Nothing More frustrating than not losing time trying to get find good internet to handle changes of plans, or find a good restaurant, etc.

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.

Does that include taxes and fees? Does it include unlimited tethering? I'm paying the same for 4 lines with unlimited everything except only 2gb per line for tethering. Seems like I might be getting ripped off...

T-Mobile One plans include all of that in the price. The only fees are on international charges.

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.

Can you even sign up for T-Mobile One anymore? I thought they had replaced it with 'Magento' or whatever and grandfathered One.

My phone is a Walmart special $30/no but my wife, on Fi, spends the max (~$90). She streams music for our kid, while driving. Dropping her to $70/mo is a win for me. Obviously everyone is different but I just wanted to point out the per person cap in a normal plan can be higher than the unlimited. I converted her over yesterday.

If you have youtube red google will download the 500 most common songs to your phone, which really helps minimize the bandwidth for streaming audio.

You can even edit playlists on the desktop and play those playlists on the car. Said playlist will auto download to your phone.

Sadly, it's hard to live outside the iMessage ecosystem. Android has much nicer and affordable hardware

Fi officially supports iPhones as of a few months ago.

I... did not know that.

Wow, being in India this cost is enterprise level. Its super costly. You can get ~42 GB (1.4 GB per day limit) data for around 400 INR, thats 6 USD per month.

I was just thinking about how long that party is going to last. I am not sure service providers can sustain this much longer without tapping into revenue from upstream value add (streaming, advertisements etc.)

I'm surprised how expensive this is. In Australia I pay A$25/month (around US$17) for unlimited talk & SMS and 18 GB of fast 4G data: https://www.aldimobile.com.au/plans/value-packs/.

Depends on the country. I pay ~$17/Month combined for 4 lines, each with 150 GB 4G data then unlimited 2g, unlimited calls and sms. Also Data can be rolled over to next month upto 2TB combined.

AldiMobile is on Telstra's network too, making it the best option by a mile.

I am using mint. Not trying to compare it with Google Fi because it offers only the basic features: text, voice and data (no fancy features like international roaming). But when people say they cut down a lot on phone bills, I want to point out that I spend only $15 on my phone bill, $30 for the entire family (two people).

Google Fi is expensive for individuals. Their initial premise was $20 base for unlimited text/phone and $10 / Gb. It was very naive of me to think that my avg phone bill would decrease a lot. But the data streaming adds up.

You are better off in a group plan (unlimited data) with friends on TMobile. it ll cost you lot less.

> Google Fi is expensive for individuals. Their initial premise was $20 base for unlimited text/phone and $10 / Gb.

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...

But Tmobile family plan costs you $30/month with unlimited data. I think it is crazy that we have to pay $10/ GB for data specially when I am traveling around the country with no wifi.

Which $30 unlimited plan? The grandfathered one with a max of 60 minutes of voice you get through walmart?

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 on wifi 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.

An individual tmobile plan that includes international support is $70 per month.

The cheapest plan (essentials) is $60 for the first line. The second line is $30.

I've never used more than 5 GB data in a month

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.

Ha, I used 200 MB of LTE and 800 MB of WiFi in the last month. I have willfully pared down my phone's footprint, but I assume you must do frequent streaming on your phone and/or you have some apps really running amok?

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...

How's mint's coverage in the real world? I was checking out their map, but I never really trust those.

AFAICT, it is identical to what a T-Mobile subscriber would see, though I imagine as a Mint Mobile user, we are deprioritized compared to the current high-paying T-Mobile customers in a congested cell.

I use T-mobile now, so I suppose switching wouldn't be to much of an issue in terms of coverage. I'm currently grandfathered in on an old pay-as-you-go plan that gave 100 minutes a month (I don't talk on the phone much), unlimited texts, and "unlimited data" (5GB then basically nothing). However T-Mobile makes it increasingly hard to stay with that plan, like eliminating the ability to refresh your plan earlier than 30 days, and for the few times I use it as a phone the service is spotty-- full signal, data works fine, but it might take a few minutes for a call to connect, sometimes failing and requiring multiple attempts. Mint might be an improvement.

I was on an even older prepaid T-Mobile plan, and they stopped allowing the purchase of "data passes" entirely. I was also seeing call reliability problems in urban Southern California.

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...

Completely agree. I work from home and I rarely user over 1GB. It's very cheap for me.

Linux ISOs. What else do you torrent, sir???

Since I effectively have no data cap I use north of 40GB on my phone without trying. A lot is from tethering though.

I've been keeping an eye on GoogleFi for a while now because I really hate AT&T. Every time there's a GFi announcement on HN, I take another look.

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.

I switched to Fi from ATT precisely because international was such a PITA. Fi just "works" as soon as you land and it picks up the towers, which is a huge relief from having to call some robo-operator and pay $30 for some super limited coverage.

My wife and I use ting which is also $10/GB and we have only once paid as much as our previous unlimited plan for a month. It is unusual for us to see a bill as high as $60.

A few years ago I switched from Ting to MintMobile. I get 8GB a month for $20 a month since I pay by the year. Haven't had any problems with them.

would you recommend MintMobile in the US? Seems almost to good to be true

Not OP, but absolutely. Nice website, great plans, and it just works(on tmobile).

I consistently had mobile monthly bills $30-$40 probably because my data usage was primarily in location with wifi. And whatever you don't use of that $10Gb gets rolled over to the next month which is not something TMobile will offer.

shrug I average $30/mo on Fi, my phone is almost always on wifi. YMMV

>High-speed data up to 22 GB/person & slower after

That's not really unlimited.

In Australia one of the major Telcos got taken to court by the competition watchdog.

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 used Google Fi last month when I traveled in Turkey-Russia

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

It remains frustrating that no provider offers a plan which more accurately reflects how the cell network functions. When your local cells is not near full load, downstream bandwidth should cost nothing over your fixed monthly access fee. When the network is busy, they should auction off high speed access (call that "surge data"). From a UI perspective this would have have been hard to do pre-smartphone but nowadays it would be pretty straight-forward.

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.

> It remains frustrating that no provider offers a plan which more accurately reflects how the cell network functions.

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."

When cell plans commonly had night and weekend minutes, people didn't need to accept the charges each time. This is a ridiculous interpretation.

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.

> 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.

> 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.

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.

> But say, people might schedule their Steam downloader to only update games in off-peak hours.

Thus making off-peak hours perpetually on-peak?

That's the point, to spread the load as evenly as possible

> Not really. "You're about to stream a video. Tap to accept the 15 cent network surge fee."

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.

Personally, I'm not sure I would want this. I think it's even more likely the average consumer would want this. It makes costs harder to predict. Perhaps if there was time of use pricing with a fixed schedule then I could get on board.

This would be optimizing network performance ahead of customer product and price transparency, which is unlikely to be as profitable. When asking, "How much does it cost?" the answer "It depends" isn't very satisfactory.

Well the alternative is what we have now: "how much does it cost to get a reliable connection during busy periods?" "There is no amount of money that can buy that."

Something that isn't just "unlimited everything" might help. Bring back plans like there used to be: <X> minutes of talk, unlimited nights & weekends. Of course no company would do that, for the same reason they wouldn't switch to a bid system with opaque monthly costs. Customers wouldn't like it, and any competitor that kept the "unlimited" plans would win out.

I bought my wife's phone bundled with Fi with interest free installments. However since I had to activate the phone itself using her email id the installments never happened they charged me the amount all together. I called support but they didn't help/ didn't know how to. I have never had to call them since then which helps.

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.

Ting is just great. So funny to see TUCOWS - "The Ultimate Collection Of Winsock Software" from decades ago - morphed into its current form. Great example of the moat from exceptional customer service, I wouldn't even consider Fi for a second, outside of a trying it out on a secondary device.

For unlimited data with included international data... shouldnt I be able to sign up for this internationally and essentially get unlimited usage in my own country?

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?

I'd like to point out that at the 256kbps throttle, you can actually only download about 80GB of data in a month. Add on the 22 GB pre throttling, and you get just over 100GB/mo hard cap. Really doesn't sounds like "unlimited" to me.

I always really expected Google Fi to be cheap and good. Its relatively expensive though, I'm surprised people choose to use it. MVNOs are getting really cheap now like $15, even big 4 telcos (3 of them!) prepaid are like 20-30/mo

Huh, I find the price quite good. I have two people on the flexible plan, $15/mo + $10/GB, which typically comes to $35-50 a month. Previously we were on t mobile and paying like $90 a month baseline (including add on for travel flexibility, which is free on Fi), and sometimes getting to $110 or so.

Yeah travel is the main benefit. FYI ATT prepaid is $25/mo for an 8GB plan https://www.att.com/prepaid/. Mint is $15/mo for 3GB https://www.mintmobile.com/product/12-month-small-sim-card-p...

Firstly, I'm not sure what the magic is on this service within the USA now that T-Mobile and Sprint are merging. That was the original premise, that Fi would allow you to blend multiple phone networks for better service. It would be awesome if they managed to bring on another of the carriers and US mobile doesn't count for most of the US.

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.

With the ease of adding a roaming eSIM, there is not much need to worry about origin of international roaming plans. You can get an eSIM2Fly (Thailand) or Three (Hong Kong) eSIM for roaming in all of Asia for under $5 per GB.

Why is this on HN? This is an ad with no new information. (Capped plan existed for a long time.)

I find this “unlimited” meaning 22GB very ridiculous.

Why? You binge several seasons of TV through your phone. You exceed 22GB... you click on youtube/netflix/whatever and it... works.

If you keep asking for data... they keep sending it. Sounds unlimited to me.

It doesn't work.

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).

DVD quality is hardly 3 MPH. DVD quality is more like unlimited miles you can only do the speed limit.

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?

What? No, you don't get DVD quality.

They say that while still under 22GB you might get only DVD quality (fine. I don't care).

After that you are throttled.

Seems pretty clear to me, from their FAQ:

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.

You are misreading that.

- 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".

I use north of 50GB. A lot of this is from tethering. Since I have more data than I need I don’t feel much restraint from using my phone productive for work. A lot of the data comes from software updates etc.

"Unlimited", ha! If the FTC wasn't out to lunch, they'd hammer on Google for false advertising.

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."

Truly unlimited exists in the fiber world, but I'm not aware of any truly unlimited LTE plans. Considering Google Fi is an MVNO they are unlikely to be able to offer something that the carriers they use don't offer.

I agree with you though, it's false advertising. They should all be fined and banned from falsely using the world "unlimited".

This is a disappointment. I've been a Fi customer since the early days, but the last year or so I was mostly just staying on Fi because I was hoping they'd announce better pricing. Everything uses so much more data than 3 years ago now, which has made Fi more and more expensive. Is there still any way to get the T-Mobile $30 Walmart plan? I now regret giving that plan up for Fi, because today where you easily need 2+GB of data every month it's a much better deal, it even offered 2G data internationally (enough for WhatsApp, maps, etc). I'll be looking for Fi alternatives now that I know to not expect better pricing.

Verizon prepaid works well for me:


> Video may stream at DVD-quality (480p).

So much for net neutrality. How far Google has come.

I am probably concerned unnecessarily here but I am worried about providing all data from my phone to Google like this. I know they are probably already getting every bit of data from my phone through their ad network but I would like them to at least make the effort to get my data rather than me paying and giving it to them. I know its silly given that I am already giving it my current carrier, may be its better to just give it to Google as they already have my data and not giving it to the carrier will cut out one copy of my data.

The fact that they take the roaming boot off your neck is worth it on its own. Even if it's "faux unlimited", their roaming agreement is sooooooooooooo good, if it is as it seems to be described.

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.

Not that huge of a headline due to them already having a form of unlimited. This saves some pennies if you go over that cap consistently.

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.

"Let Google Fi enhance your network. Get more privacy and more security. Your mobile and Wi-Fi data is sent through Google Fi's Virtual Private Network (VPN). Get fewer connection interruptions by automatically connecting to mobile data when Wi-Fi is poor. appears in the status bar when the VPN is active. The Google Fi VPN increases data usage by about 10%. You can turn this off in Fi Network Tools in the Google Fi app."

I’m very interested in the plan as it’s written. The main reason I wouldn’t switch to this from T-Mobile is that I honestly never know when Google will decide to just say, “welp, we got bored with this, so we’re taking our ball and going home - good luck switching back!” Aside from GMail getting slower and the search results containing more ads, I don’t feel like you can really count on Google to stick with anything.

It looks not spectacular but OK, but I would never switch my main phone there for one reason - it's not their core business. They could decide to kill it any moment. Even though it's not too hard to switch, it's not worth the hassle. If it were half-price of other plans, maybe, but it's roughly the same, maybe different features a bit.

Unlimited data even when roaming internationally is a game changer. Definitely worth $70/mo for people who travel frequently.

Google Fi is a no-go for me as they make me lose my Google Voice number. Currently, I'm on the old T-Mobile One plan with One Plus International for $25/mo, which gives me unlimited Hot Spot and LTE data plus a lot more. Unfortunately, the knuckleheads at T-Mo discontinued it, so, now they have almost no competitive advantage.

So $70/month for 22 GB of data with mandatory video throttling? This isn't newsworthy or a good deal.

Does anyone know why the signup process stalls for me ( https://imgur.com/a/Ato8rDq )? I hate sites that just disable the "Next"-button without any explanation

Just switched from googleFi to xinfinty. They offer unlimited for $50 for a single line.

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

Slightly off topic. I’ve been looking to get a Moto G6, a phone available through the Google Fi store ($99), but it is permanently “out of stock”. I assume this is on purpose as Google wants you to purchase a more expensive phone — a bit of a bait and switch. Anyway I did manage to get a “blush” version of the phone yesterday, which is now again out-of-stock. I’ve been waiting to get the black version of the phone with no luck. I even registered to be notified for availability but that evidently does not work since they never notified us concerning the "blush" version of the Moto G6.

Google fi unlimited 70$ for 22 gigz

Verizon unlimited 100$ bucks for 75 gig

Are they losing money on the service and somehow making it back from data harvesting (either directly or indirectly by selling more google phones)?

Google has some issue where you're not eligible for Google if you have a secondary Google Voice number. What is up with that?

google is your portal to the web, your way to filter information, your point for offline communication.. and online communication. soon to be the infrastructure it runs on. thats just way too much access to personal information for one company. just wow

This is just an "I'm curious" question.

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.

I listen to a LOT of podcasts (110 days of them since November 2015). I think it's safe to say that most of them aren't optimized for streaming in the way that, say, most streaming music is. So if I want to listen to something that I didn't pre-download then I'm looking at some fairly hefty downloads. It averages to about 1 meg / minute with most of the shows I listen to being 30+ minutes each. No on-the-fly bandwidth saving measures. I'm out walking for an average of 2.5 hours a day, so if I downloaded all of that on my phone connection I'd be using 150 meg / day. Then there's youtube, which if you don't pay them $16/month doesn't let you download videos or stream audio only. So that ends up eating a bunch.

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.

That makes sense. I listen to lots of podcasts as well, and I've gotten stuck once or twice with something still downloading and waiting to walk out the door.

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 have Android Auto in my car and virtually all of the data usage is Music. I think it would be really nice if they would try to pre-load music that I'm likely yo enjoy when the phone is connected to my home wifi network, instead of always streaming over mobile. The other day I drove for 2.5 hours and it used 300MB of data. I wasn't even listening to music the whole way.

It takes some planning ahead, but I use a podcast app that automatically downloads episodes when I'm on Wi-Fi and I explicitly download a few playlists on Spotify.

I use google maps a lot. When I walk around, when I drive (1hour commute/day). Also use spotify (but most of the time offline-saved tracks). Twitter/internet browsing in waiting rooms. I consume on average 3 to 4 gigs a month.

Automatic uploads of photos and videos, some youtube music, some streaming, some hotspotting. Didnt realize but washington post seem to be downloading a lot 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).

YouTube and Twitch every day on public transportation.

I never use wi-fi, travel a lot with lots of photos and sharing/viewing videos on Instagram, and have instant backups for everything.

I would guess that's all of it. Streaming video, music, even apps like instagram I imagine make up for the largest chunk of data.

Anyone have experience with this? I heard the service is atrocious on iPhones at least.

Anecdotal only, but in the 15 years that I've used cell phones, I was never once unable to make a phone call when I had full signal bars. That is, until I switched to Google Fi on my Pixel XL 2. After the switch, I was constantly missing calls and messages. And needless to say, download speed was abysmal. Tried customer support, swapping SIMs, resetting phone, and all that, to no avail. Switched back to Verizon after a month and never looked back.

I need to switch from At&t to google Fi because of sim swapping.

Including China? Really?

> Video may stream at DVD-quality (480p).

How do they manage that over TLS?

They throttle video so that the client switches to a lower bitrate version of the video. You can still identify video streams even if they are encrypted, or being Google they might just have a big list of IPs as Avery3R mentioned.


It's not just video, it's based on IPs. https://fast.com will show a slow speed too

usmobile.com is much more cost effective. I can get an unlimited minutes/text plan, plus 5GB/month for 25$ there, 30$ (with all the taxes and fees).

I wish they had better support for iPhones...

22GB unlimited and then slower after.

Fi is a science fair project

How long before they kill this?

I've been meaning to try Google Fi for a while but I'm sitting on the fence too long. The fact that they could "sunset" Fi on a whim when they get bored with it and lack of good customer service since it's not Adwords bothers me enough not to try.

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