Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that offers cellular coverage on multiple networks. It uses T-Mobile and Sprint, and has a partnership with regional carrier US Cellular.
You can sign up for Google Fi for $20 per month and get unlimited talk, text, and data. It also offers a plan with “Bill Protection” that caps your data at 6GB and charges $10 per gigabyte after that, up to a cap of 15GB.
Google Fi is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) that provides phone calls, SMS, and data using cellular networks and Wi-Fi. Its service is designed to switch between cellular networks based on which one has the best coverage in a given area at any time.
The service also encrypts any data you send over Wi-Fi networks, meaning no one can see what you’re doing. However, you’ll want to know that once you reach 15 GB of data use in a month, your data speeds will drop dramatically.
To get started with Google Fi, you’ll need a compatible phone and an internet connection. You can get a SIM card at Best Buy, or you can sign up online and have it shipped to you. You can also port your existing number over, though that takes a little more effort.
Phones Designed for Fi
Google Fi is a pay-only-for-what-you-use cellular service that works with phones from a wide range of manufacturers, including Android and iPhones. The service combines a mix of T-Mobile and US Cellular’s LTE and 5G networks, as well as Wi-Fi hotspots for coverage.
If you use a phone designed for Fi, it will intelligently shift between those two networks and leverage open Wi-Fi to get you the best possible coverage. For example, if you move to an area with better coverage on one of those two networks, it will automatically switch to it.
If you use a phone that’s not specifically designed for Fi, it won’t do multi-network switching or auto-connect to open WiFi. But it will still work well with Fi, offering a simplified billing setup and standard-rate international data costs.
Google Fi offers unlimited talk and text for $20 a month, plus $10 per GB of data that you use, up to a limit that caps at $70 a month. The unlimited plan also includes bill protection, which caps your charges after a certain amount of data is used.
As with any wireless service, your coverage will vary depending on where you live. You can enter your address into Google Fi’s coverage map to get a feel for how reliable it is.
Fi uses a combination of T-Mobile, Sprint and US Cellular networks. You can even try using the free OpenSignal app to see network coverage maps and rank the strength of connectivity for different carriers in your area.
Google Fi offers a range of smartphone-first plans that adapt to your data usage. You can choose between a flexible plan that caps your monthly bill at $20 or a high-speed plan with unlimited data.
The flexible plan is a good option for those who don’t use a lot of data. It adapts to your data use and only charges you when you reach a predetermined threshold (which is just 6 GB per line for the flexible plan).
The simply unlimited plan and the unlimited plus plan both offer a free Google One membership. You can add up to six people to your service account and each gets an allotment of high-speed data.