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Thread: Fi now has a third carrier!

  1. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoff5093 View Post
    One thing I've noticed with Fi, is that in theory the ability to use 3 carriers where you connect to the best one is not how it works in reality. If you are in an area with weak coverage with some of the carriers, often times you will be stuck with poor 2G/3G signal, even if another carrier has strong LTE. If you are driving and there are certain areas where a carrier doesn't have service, you don't simply connect to the next carrier like you would when connecting to the next tower, you often have long period of no service before it reconnects. During my trip through Maine, I would go from T-Mobile LTE > Sprint 1x even if US Cellular had strong LTE.
    Most of the time it does it automatically. At my house though, it will lock onto a weak, unusable LTE TMobile signal rather than onto a stronger 3G USCC signal. You get around this by manually switching and through your location the software remembers what you want for that area and will use that signal the next time you're there. I have been experimenting with this for the past few days and it seems to work fine.

  2. #47
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    Fi now has a third carrier!

    Quote Originally Posted by kb7qdi View Post
    Decided to try Project Fi again now that US Cellular is on board.

    The down side is that USCC hasn't ported to everyone yet, so I'm still with either T-Mobile and Sprint. Both have decent to great coverage where I am, but USCC's coverage in the rural areas of southern WI is by far the best of the three, and incoming calls from Sprint are still intermittent.

    I've talked to two Project Fi support technicians, and they both said that even though July was supposed to be the month to have everyone added to USCC, there is still a good chunk of customers that will have to wait a couple weeks before the next app update happens. Right now I get "Invalid MCC/MDC" when I try to manually force USCC.
    Indeed, about 5 minutes after the app update today (Aug 25), I now have access to USCC.
    Last edited by mch; 08-25-2016 at 08:20 PM.
    "I didn't get fat by accident. This was a personal choice. " - Kevin Gillespie

  3. #48
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    Signed up early August and had USCC right away. So far it's been everything I expected.
    Nexus 5X & 6P on Google Fi
    iPhone 5S on Boom

  4. #49
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    Google Fi sounds incredible, but it sounds like it's still a work in progress. Either they don't have full T-Mobile, Sprint, and USCC coverage, or their coverage map is completely screwed up. The coverage map is missing a TON of USCC coverage in northern New England, and here in CT, it's basically showing Sprint-ish LTE coverage, even though T-Mobile has almost the entire state covered in LTE. Either the map is wrong, or they prefer Sprint's 3G over T-Mobile's LTE, which would throw the whole "choose the best network" thing out the window. It's also showing 3G in a few areas that have it only from AT&T and Verizon, so I'm not sure if it's doing a bit of creative extrapolation and stretching of coverage, or if they are somehow jumping on Verizon EVDO through Sprint's roaming agreement.
    Happy AT&T customer and addicted Speedtester in CT
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  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    ....... Either they don't have full T-Mobile, Sprint, and USCC coverage, or their coverage map is completely screwed up. .......
    Number 2....
    Donald Newcomb

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    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    Number 2....
    So it really works as promised, the coverage map is just totally hosed up? Will it, in fact, live up to the claim of choosing the best carrier, and choose T-Mobile LTE over Sprint EVDO?

  7. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    Google Fi sounds incredible, but it sounds like it's still a work in progress. Either they don't have full T-Mobile, Sprint, and USCC coverage, or their coverage map is completely screwed up. The coverage map is missing a TON of USCC coverage in northern New England, and here in CT, it's basically showing Sprint-ish LTE coverage, even though T-Mobile has almost the entire state covered in LTE. Either the map is wrong, or they prefer Sprint's 3G over T-Mobile's LTE, which would throw the whole "choose the best network" thing out the window. It's also showing 3G in a few areas that have it only from AT&T and Verizon, so I'm not sure if it's doing a bit of creative extrapolation and stretching of coverage, or if they are somehow jumping on Verizon EVDO through Sprint's roaming agreement.
    I agree it is still a work in progress but the concept is certainly unique. When my phone tries to lock onto an essentially unusable 4G T-Mobile signal versus a usable USCC 3G signal, I manually switch the phone to USCC and it see,s to remember that selection later when I'm in the same area, at least most of the time.

  8. #53
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    Fi now has a third carrier!

    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    So it really works as promised, the coverage map is just totally hosed up? Will it, in fact, live up to the claim of choosing the best carrier, and choose T-Mobile LTE over Sprint EVDO?

    The coverage map is hosed.

    The network selection algorithm isn't perfect. On the other hand, if you are willing to manually select a network every once in a while, the coverage is good, especially considering it includes a fair bit of VZW EV-DO/1x via Sprint's and USCC's roaming agreements.

    I wouldn't recommend Fi for a line that is going to see heavy data use or for someone who isn't willing to occasionally tinker.

    The Google integration is very nice. a la carte data pricing is good for people/lines that use little data. It isn't for everyone.
    Last edited by mch; 08-25-2016 at 10:53 PM.

  9. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSMinCT View Post
    So it really works as promised, the coverage map is just totally hosed up? Will it, in fact, live up to the claim of choosing the best carrier, and choose T-Mobile LTE over Sprint EVDO?
    It tends to dislike EV-DO and gets off of it ASAP but may pick Sprint's LTE over T-Mobile's LTE. A few months ago we drove up I-49 through Louisiana. T-Mobile's LTE was very spotty around Alexandria. The Fi phone switched back and forth between several times T-Mobile and Sprint. My T-Mobile phone got on AT&T 2G roaming and had to be forced back to T-Mobile LTE when we got back into an LTE coverage.

    As for Fi's maps, they are a mash-up of maps that Fi gets from three different carriers, none of which are right in the first place. I have not done enough back-woods driving to tell you if their maps are either optimistic or pessimistic in any given location. Unfortunately, crowd-sourced maps are of only limited usefulness for Fi.
    Last edited by DRNewcomb; 08-26-2016 at 09:20 AM.

  10. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by mch View Post
    ...The network selection algorithm isn't perfect. On the other hand, if you are willing to manually select a network every once in a while, the coverage is good, especially considering it includes a fair bit of VZW EV-DO/1x via Sprint's and USCC's roaming agreements.

    I wouldn't recommend Fi for a line that is going to see heavy data use or for someone who isn't willing to occasionally tinker.

    The Google integration is very nice. a la carte data pricing is good for people/lines that use little data. It isn't for everyone.
    Don't forget Fi is a prepaid service, so apples to apples comparison is really to other prepaids. In most major metro areas you probably don't need to tinker. In rural areas its possible to get phone and text coverage (not necessarily data) where none would be available if you were using another prepaid service. And you can call and text easily over wifi if you want. High data use is ok if you normally have wifi available. And you have some international coverage built in to your plan. So agreed its not for everyone but then again every service (prepaid or postpaid) has limitations Fi's are just different not bad (although they will be bad for certain users).

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterfield View Post
    I agree it is still a work in progress but the concept is certainly unique. When my phone tries to lock onto an essentially unusable 4G T-Mobile signal versus a usable USCC 3G signal, I manually switch the phone to USCC and it see,s to remember that selection later when I'm in the same area, at least most of the time.
    That's interesting. I didn't realize you can manually select. Why is the T-Mobile 4G not working?

    Quote Originally Posted by mch View Post
    The coverage map is hosed.

    The network selection algorithm isn't perfect. On the other hand, if you are willing to manually select a network every once in a while, the coverage is good, especially considering it includes a fair bit of VZW EV-DO/1x via Sprint's and USCC's roaming agreements.
    Does it include the same Verizon roaming that Sprint has? What about the LTE roaming agreements that Sprint has with rural carriers? Yeah, the pricing is a little whack, so I'm hoping that they make it competitive in order to shake things up a bit. The multi-carrier coverage is cool though. It would be great for somebody who goes to northern New England a lot where USCC has a strong network.

    Quote Originally Posted by DRNewcomb View Post
    It tends to dislike EV-DO and gets off of it ASAP but may pick Sprint's LTE over T-Mobile's LTE. A few months ago we drove up I-49 through Louisiana. T-Mobile's LTE was very spotty around Alexandria. The Fi phone switched back and forth between several times T-Mobile and Sprint. My T-Mobile phone got on AT&T 2G roaming and had to be forced back to T-Mobile LTE when we got back into an LTE coverage.

    As for Fi's maps, they are a mash-up of maps that Fi gets from three different carriers, none of which are right in the first place. I have not done enough back-woods driving to tell you if their maps are either optimistic or pessimistic in any given location. Unfortunately, crowd-sourced maps are of only limited usefulness for Fi.
    That's interseting as the CT map shows Sprint EVDO, not T-Mobile LTE. So I guess it's totally useless? If they really use T-Mobile LTE over Sprint EVDO, their LTE coverage is way bigger than they show, at least around here. T-Mobile built out a crapload of LTE over the past year or two. Their LTE network used to be a total joke, now it's huge. Not Verizon or AT&T huge, but still pretty huge.

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