If you've heard nothing, Google is now a legitimate wireless service provider. Google Fi has its advantages and disadvantages, but the biggest advantage lies in the pricing. Depending on how much data you normally use, there's a good chance you can save a lot of money by switching to Fi without affecting coverage.
Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) lifts existing T-Mobile, US Cellular and Sprint cell towers, sort of like three carrier networks in one. To further enhance coverage, all Google Fi phones automatically gain access to a nationwide network of secure Wi-Fi hotspots (hence the "Fi" in their name).
But with so many different connections playing here, Google Fi has only worked with certain phones so far. So far, your options have been limited to Google's own pixel phones and an occasional device from Motorola or LG. Now that Google has announced support for iPhones, Samsung Galaxy devices, OnePlus phones, and several other models, Fi is a frugal option for almost everyone.
Why Google Fi May Be the Right Choice for You
Google Fi combines the networks of T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Sprint to provide solid coverage that covers more areas than any one of these networks. However, Google's carrier service is still too new to be thoroughly reviewed by independent testers like RootMetrics . Be sure to check your ZIP code in the Google Fi Cover Map before considering a change
However, coverage is not the biggest selling proposition for Google Fi as the data plans start at a surprisingly cheap $ 20 / month. Google Fi's base prices are indeed as simple as they can be: pay 20 euros per month for one line and receive unlimited calls and texts. Then add $ 10 per month for each gigabyte of data used. The data rates are limited to the cent, so that 1 megabyte of use costs one cent.
If you add more than one person to your plan, the situation looks a little different. For Google Fi group plans, the first line still costs $ 20 / month, but all lines (up to five) cost only $ 15 / month. In addition, the same prices of $ 10 / gigabyte apply to data usage on each line.
The most complicated aspect of Google Fi's pricing scheme is Bill Protection. However, this only becomes important if you are using a lot of data, then it will only be of use to you. In short, you never pay more than a certain amount of data, although this number depends on the number of people included in your plan.
If you're a single user, you never pay more than $ 60 a month for data, no matter how much you use. This figure is up to $ 100 for two, $ 120 for three, $ 140 for four, $ 160 for five, and $ 180 for six. Until you reach these thresholds, you will still be charged the usual $ 10 / GB charge. However, once you reach these limits, all data usage is free. Imagine an unlimited plan that will allow you to pay less if you do not use a lot of data.
It's worth noting that Bill Protection is not immune to throttling. Once you've reached 15GB for a month in a single line, your data speeds will be slow, causing the Internet to slow down after that point. If you are in a group plan, each row has this 15 GB throttling threshold, regardless of the usage of your collected data.
Performing the calculations on Google Fi
The Google Fi plan means that it is extremely cost-effective, if you're thankful you're not using a lot of mobile data, but heavy users can get the price out pretty quickly. $ 50 / month for unlimited conversations, text and three dates is great – but if you increase your data usage to six gigabytes per month, you'll suddenly see an almost three-digit phone bill.
At what point is Google Fi the cheaper option and how much data can you use?
According to research firm Cowen and Company, 4G LTE service plans like Google Fi cost an average of $ 103 per month for a single user. For the sake of simplicity, we (generously) assume that $ 13 will go toward taxes and fees, leading us to an average pre-tax cost of $ 90 / month.
With this plan, you could switch to Google Fi and save money if you used any amount of data. Billing protection costs $ 60 for data, so you never pay more than using the mobile Internet. Add $ 20 for a single user and receive $ 80 before taxes and fees.
But this is when you reach your threshold for Bill protection. If you use less than 6 GB per month, you save even more. 5 gigs would lead to a $ 70 bill, 4 gigs would cost you $ 60 and so on. Compared to this average of $ 90, you can save at least [$ $ 10 a month.
Another important case where these plans will save you money: international travel. Google Fi provides data coverage in over 170 countries at no extra charge. This means you will still receive the same $ 10 / gigabyte overseas rates while accessing the fastest available data networks in the region. A few other carriers offer similar offerings, but these roaming plans generally throttle your data to 3G speeds.
If you're currently on a two-year mobile service plan, most carriers will need a premature termination fee ($ 200)) if they choose to switch to Google Fi. But even then, every month on Google Fi you could hit your Bill Protection Threshold, eat the 200-USD ETF, and still be in the lead over a two-year period (with no data breaches and other fees).
Conclusion Google Fi is cheaper than the average mobile plan, regardless of the amount of data used. However, using less than 6 gigabytes per month will save you a lot more. And even if you're currently in a mobile service plan, you can disconnect, connect your compatible phone to the Fi, and still save money.