Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Signing up for Project Fi

In preparation for an extended visit to Europe, I signed up for Project Fi today.  Prior to this I had been using Ting.  I love Ting.  I do all my SMS and voice communications over IP, so I really just need a reliable, affordable data plan.  If Ting had better data rates in Europe, I would have stuck with them.  Anyway, here are some first impressions while signing up for Project Fi.

Charging $20 per month per phone line seems expensive.  That costs $6 on Ting.  Fi gives you unlimited calls and texts but since I always use zero of those, I'd rather have a cheaper base rate.

Fi charges $10 per GB for data.  As they say, "No matter your budget, you'll only pay for data you use."  So why are they asking me to set a budget?  It seems like an extra step without a purpose.  I chose the smallest budget allowed, 1 GB.  This combination costs $30 per month on Fi and $22 on Ting.  An extra $8 per month to get excellent data rates across Europe seems reasonable to me.

I already have a Google Pixel so I only needed a new SIM.  That was free.  As I recall, Ting charges $12 up front for that, so $0 is nice.

Since my public phone numbers are all managed through Twilio, it doesn't really matter to me what phone number Fi assigns me.  They gave me the choice of porting a number or choosing a new one.  I chose to receive a new one.  Unfortunately, they only offered numbers with area codes in my local area.  Some people might like to choose an arbitrary area code.  They didn't let me choose the specific number at this point.

Fi asked for my primary service address.  Since I'll be using this phone all over Europe, I wasn't entirely sure what to put.  I used my home address in Wyoming.  Fi didn't seem picky about that.  They even let me use a different shipping address for the SIM card.  That was convenient since I was traveling at the time I placed the order.

Overall the sign up process was smooth and the prices seem reasonable.  When the SIM arrives in 7 days, I'll put it through its paces.

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