Here is our summary of Google FI - updated for 2023 - Be sure to read the fine print section - iOS users should look else where as no tethering is allowed (not really a good issue I believe but a stubborn apple iOS issue)! The other big downside is for digital nomads, your service will be terminated if you stay longer than 30 days outside the US.
International Plan Name: Included in Flexible and Unlimited Plus Plans only Amount of Data: $10/GB up to 6GB then free or unlimited Speed: LTE no GB restriction up to 22GB! Cost per day: included in your current plan eSim cost per day*: Gotcha: T-Mobile Coverage in Europe
Google says: Make calls to other countries at little to no additional cost, and get international texting from the US included free. Unlimited Plus and Flexible also come with international data in 200+ destinations at no extra charge.
Data, Data all about the Data
Google FI is a winner here as they don’t scale back your speed or limit your data per day. The “unlimited” data is not really unlimited and has a 22GB cap but that’s a lot of data!
Text and calls
This too is where FI kicks traditional plans in the bottom. Texts are free. Land line / cell phone calls appear to be super cheap too – 1c to 25c / min vs Verizon’s $1.50/ $1.70min. Calls back to the US are free.
WATCH OUT 2 BIG GOTCHAS here ……
- You are not allowed to use the plan for more that 30 days overseas or you will get a nasty email and your service will be terminated. This is being reported in the forums more so now in 2023 so they seem to be cracking down on this
- iPhone users ARE NOT ABLE to tether their phones to their laptops / iPads etc … A deal breaker for me
Anyone who uses more than 15 GB on Flexible or 22 GB on the unlimited plans in a single cycle will experience slower data until the next cycle (only 1% of people who use Fi ever hit 22 GB). If you want to return to faster data before the cycle’s end, you can do so at a rate of $10/GB.
My main issue with Google FI is not the international data plans it offers but the everyday monthly / yearly cost. If you’re a cheap bastard like myself here are the numbers – I pay $15pm for 3Gigs of data – yes that $30 a month for two lines with the same coverage and speed as Google FI. Thats $180 per year per line.
The same Google FI plan would cost me double that and with two lines I would pay $792 MORE per year if I used Google FI – that a hell of a lot of eSIM cards! Also you many not want to switch carriers as Google FI uses the T-Mobile network and not Verizon and although in my neck of the woods I get a solid 5G signal with T-Mobile and only LTE with Verizon, traditionally Verizon has had better coverage.
Also I assume Google FI uses T-Mobile partners or network in Europe. I have tested a T-Mobile roaming plan for a 7 months stay and I found it to be OK coverage wise but in the past I used an eSIM that used the O2 network in Germany and it appeared to have better coverage. So if you are staying in one location for your entire vacation you may find that the coverage to back lacking and an eSIM using O2 would be better. Of course we’re biased a little and love eSIMS from Airalo.