Google FI – Introduction
Google Fi is the latest project by Google to become a wireless telephone company in the States. The company has in fact leased out spaces from other current wireless carriers (as opposed to building towers or buying a carrier itself) for this project. Google Fi will also be the company’s way of introducing fresh methods of pricing telecom services, which may in fact result in us spending lesser bucks on our phones on calls and other things. You may note that you would not be charged to cancel the package with Google, however your present carrier might not adhere to same policies. So before shifting to Google Fi, you should just wait out for the duration of your contract with your carrier to end.
Working of Google Fi
It is similar to any other normal cell phone service. That means you would be able to make calls, send texts and use other features. For every spending, your credit card linked to your account would be charged. You might even link maximum six members of your family in one group and opt for one account and share data, lowering costing even more. Please note that Google Fi is not offering unlimited data, but it makes you pay only for the data you have used – instead of a standard amount of data you might get in the packs or plans.
As we mentioned earlier Google has leased out towers from other carrier services (US Cellular, Sprint and T Mobile all three have leased out towers to Google Fi at present), which has made it possible for it to offer both GSM and CDMA services. This also makes sure that your mobile gets a widespread network range given the combination of the three services. You may take a note that mobile network providers usually provided GSM or CDMA – one or the other – till recently. The different smartphone companies thus had to build in the antenna for either one of these bands, but now the technology has evolved and the new quad band phones allow to have both the antennas built in the device. This ultimately results in a better coverage and network connection. Using this same concept Google has come up with a feature which will let the devices to change and choose for whichever signal is the strongest, providing the customer best network coverage.
Altering Google Voice
Okay, so you can in fact use the Google Voice number with Google Fi, but unfortunately a lot of ways and features would change.Here are the things you should do with Google Voice once you have opted for Fi –
You can make use of the Voice number. This way you are saved the inconvenience of transferring the cell phone number.
You may also opt to delete your Voice number forever.
You can link your Voice number to a new Google account, which is different from the original account you used for Fi number.
Get yourself a new contact number. Once you have set it, you may as well put both your original cell number and Google Voice number to trash.
Please note that option for Google Voice number would mean no further usage of Google Talk or Voice Web App (you can however use the Voice Web App by signing in with some other Google Account). However, you can go to Hangouts to check messages or to text, meaning just the interface is changed drastically. On the other hand, choosing to transfer Google Voice number will ensure you can not forward calls to Fi phone number.
Pricing of Google Fi
Using Google Fi will have you include the monthly cost plus the base fee and data usage. You might have to also consider purchasing a new phone, and taxes are always there.
Phones Compatible With Google Fi
To have your project Fi work fine, you would need to find the perfect phone with it. The phone should not only be just stylish but sturdy as well. We have prepared a list for the most appropriate contenders –
Nexus 6p – it will cost you around 399 bucks.
Nexus 5X – this will cost you around 199 bucks
Pixel – you can buy it anywhere in the range of 649 to 850 dollars as per different variations available.
You can also opt for the monthly payments for these phone. Pixel will cost you anywhere between 27 – 35 bucks per month. Nexus 6p and 5X are going to cost 16.63 and 10.38 dollars respectively per month. These values are without any interest. So you can use these figures to understand how much opting for Google Fi is going to cost you – incase you buy a new smartphone altogether. However, if you have one of these standard phones, you can easily order the Google Fi SIM without any extra charges.
All said and done, you need to change your phone if you have not gotten the set Nexus or Pixel ones as Google Fi has to switch between the three companies networks as discussed earlier. These new phones have special antennas inbuilt for that, which makes them necessary for Google Fi. However you can opt out of using Google Fi any moment and use these unlocked, quad band phones for any other carrier – it would not be necessary to switch phones again.
Charges of Google Fi
The service will charge you twenty bucks for basic packs which means unlimited voice calls and texting. By paying fifteen dollars per person, you can associate a maximum of six people to one account. The standard data pack will cost you ten bucks monthly and you can order maximum three packs per month. It is mainly to maintain a budget – that means if you do not use the data, you don’t have to pay for it. What’s more – Bluetooth tethering or sharing your mobile data by making your device a hotspot is not going to cost you extra – but beware do not use it too much as your mobile data pack will then drain out faster.
However you can find a referral code which might save you some bucks. Look out for specials released by Google from time to time as well. Both these steps will help you with cutting costs.
Average Data Use with Google Fi
If you are using Marshmallow or Nougat, you have to –
Head over to Settings. Tap on it.
Click on Data Usage in the menu.
Here you can check out the data used in the month.
When you click on “Cellular data usage”, you might find a graph depicting your data usage against the apps you are using, it will tell you what apps are using the most of your data.
Look out at the top of your screen, and you will find an option to check out the data usage of past four months.
You can now check out the data used in every month and make sure the consumption is normal.
Use these figures to get an idea of your bill. If you analyse, you would find what your average consumption per month is.
So let’s say you used on average around 6 GB data per month, which means you would have to opt for the basic service costing 20 bucks and three packs of data costing thirty bucks making it a total of $50 each month. You can also opt for 2 packs if you feel your data consumption is lesser.
However, it is always easy to use Google Fi as a single account. When families are connected, you are going to pay for the basic service (around fifty bucks for a family of three) as well share data between your accounts, which can be messy at times.
Taxes and Fees for Google Fi
You would have to pay for the taxes and fees like you do with any other network service as per the rules and regulations of the state you live in.
Calling Globally with Google Fi
You can use the special deals Google offers for international calling in case you are traveling abroad a lot. You would have to pay the same 10 bucks per pack per month for whichever country you are going to. However, the connection might create problem for you. Even in Canada, you would face slower data services and the coverage would go weaker as you go norther.
You can note that you can receive calls internationally for free, but calling up internationally will cost you money, depending on the country. Even hangouts call on your phone number are included in this. Thus. in case you are a frequent flier, do compare the rates Google Fi is offering with your current service provider.
Saving Data with Google Fi
Oh, did we tell you that Fi provides you free WiFi. So keep your WiFi on anywhere you know WiFi networks are around. However, you may also take care of the mobile data you use by shutting down apps from the background when you are not using them. You can even switch on your data warning by –
Select Settings on your Android and click on Data Usage.
You will find a bar graph if you look out at the top of your screen. Click on it.
You will be led to “Set Data Usage Warning” section. You can set whichever limit you want here.
Please note that doing this will not switch off your data. It would just be a warning for you, just to remind you that you have finished that much amount of data you have. For that matter, you will not be charged extra by Google if you go over the set limit – it will cost you 10 bucks per month. If you are not satisfied, you can in fact set up a data limit that will indeed cut off the usage.
Turning on Data Saver
Head over to Settings and select Data Usage.
Click on Data Saver from the menu opened. Turn it on, in case it is off right now.
Select “Unrestricted Data Access” and toggle the apps restrict/unrestrict as per your needs and preferences.
Using Data Saver will save you the data consumed on background apps. You may have apps you need the most have unlimited data access and cut out the ones you don’t need.
Let us know in the comments below if you have tried Fi out yet.