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Author Topic: Best carrier for RVers  (Read 980 times)

SeilerBird

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Best carrier for RVers
« on: November 09, 2017, 07:28:58 AM »
One question that comes up around here is what is the best wireless carrier for RVers. Usually there are at least a dozen different answers with no one company getting most of the votes. Well Google is changing all that with their new Project Fi network. Right now it is the very best deal for most RVers. Here are the reasons why.

Google does not own one cell phone tower. They use Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular. At the same time. They monitor all three and use the one with the best signal. This means you get access to more cell towers and 4G LTE in more places. And they also have about a million Wifi signals they can also use if one is in range which will save you data charges. As you move they will switch between cell phone towers and Wifi seamlessly, even in the middle of a call. No other carrier uses as many towers.

Price. Google gets pricing right. They don't have plans at Fi, they have a plan. $20 per month for the first line, $15 per month for each additional line. Data is $10 a gig. But here is the difference. You get a refund every month for unused data of the previous month. Let's say you sign up for one gig a month like I did and you only use a half a gig. The next bill gives you a $5 reduction. Data is computed at one cent a megabyte. If you go over then data is added at the same one cent a megabyte. One cent a megabyte is $10 a gig approximately. You do not pay for data you do not use and you do not get throttled for going over. If you use a lot of gigs then Fi will probably not be the cheapest for you.

Free hot spot. Every phone has a hot spot built in and there is no extra charge for using it as a hot spot.

International calling is built in. No additional charges for international calls. There are 135 countries in their plan and you can use Fi in any of those countries without any problems. So you can travel to Mexico or Canada and not worry about will your phone work. You don't need an additional plan or a different SIM card to travel. And speaking of SIM cards, Fi doesn't use physical SIM cards they use eSIM cards that are baked into the phone.

Now as you know if it seems to good to be true then it is not is the usual response to this. And there is a huge problem. Fi only works on a few different phones. Specifically Pixel, Moto X4, the Nexus 6P, Nexus 5X and Nexus 6 are the only ones you can use. This is because they are the only ones with the software built in to switch between networks. I can only imagine that as time marches on more companies will built that into their phones. You don't have to spend a grand on a Pixel like I did to join Fi. Right now a Nexus 5X is under $200 new on Amazon and much cheaper used on eBay. Considering how much you could save on data charges Fi just might pay for a 5X.

Another great thing is the Share the Fi Love program. If you refer someone to Fi then you get a $20 discount and so does the person you refer. My code is 2KX6EY. I have been using Fi for the past week and it works much better than the MetroPCS network I was using. It had problems at my house. Sometimes it would not ring.

Here is a link to their website:

https://fi.google.com/about/

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UTTransplant

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2017, 09:47:50 AM »
Am I missing that data seems expensive? We can easily use 15-20 Gigs a month on our Verizon unlimited plan. That sounds like $150-200 a month for data. We are in the West almost always, and we are hardly anywhere with WiFi so we really use the cellular data. The coverage looks good for more populated parts of the country, but in the open spaces of the west Verizon coverage beats all the others. The plan looks like something those in more urban environments might want to look into though.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2017, 10:00:41 AM »
Am I missing that data seems expensive? We can easily use 15-20 Gigs a month on our Verizon unlimited plan. That sounds like $150-200 a month for data. We are in the West almost always, and we are hardly anywhere with WiFi so we really use the cellular data. The coverage looks good for more populated parts of the country, but in the open spaces of the west Verizon coverage beats all the others. The plan looks like something those in more urban environments might want to look into though.
You are missing what I stated in the original post:

"If you use a lot of gigs then Fi will probably not be the cheapest for you."

No it is not for heavy data users. I looked at Verizon and Fi data coverage maps and I think Fi looks better in the west.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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William52

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2017, 09:57:36 AM »
Something will consider but are married to Verizon  for another year or so. Seems every time a new plan comes along they all match it to keep customer base. Besides we need unlimited data.
2000 Pace Arrow M35N F53 V10 Ford  100,000 + miles purrs like a kitten. 2010 Honda CRV, Roadmaster Falcon, RVI3 Brake

Frank B

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2017, 09:01:35 PM »
SeilerBird:

I had a look, but coverage in Arizona is spotty in the areas we like to visit.  One should check the coverage map before making a decision.

However, thanks for mentioning it.  I will keep an eye on the project. 

As a Canadian snowbird, I am always looking for a data connection that does not cost an arm and a leg.  So far, AT&T has been decent to deal with, and they have coverage most of the places we go.  Just pop a US SIM into my unlocked Galaxy Note 4 in Great Falls, and we're good to go.

Frank.
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SeilerBird

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 11:56:03 AM »
Good news for heavy data users looking at using Fi.

"Google’s Project Fi has tweaked its plans to make the service more attractive to heavy data users. The MVNO has launched a new feature called Bill Protection that will cap your $10 per GB data bill at $60 a month, while still allowing you to use as much data as you want, essentially creating its own version of an unlimited data plan."
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
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jackiemac

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 12:08:44 PM »
One to watch and the good thing will be that the competition need to up their game. 😀  thanks for posting Tom.
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Tom

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 07:29:16 PM »
Quote from: SeilerBird
"Google’s Project Fi has tweaked its plans to make the service more attractive to heavy data users. The MVNO has launched a new feature called Bill Protection that will cap your $10 per GB data bill at $60 a month, while still allowing you to use as much data as you want, essentially creating its own version of an unlimited data plan."

Thanks for posting this. I took a quick look, and see good coverage in the areas where we spend our summers and winters. However, it appears that I'd need to purchase a new phone to use their system. Are there any alternatives?
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Frank B

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2018, 08:59:18 PM »
Tom:


AT&T has a GoPhone plan for $60 a month if you sign up for monthly renewal. It gives you unlimited voice in the States and Canada, and Mexico too I think. The advantage for us is that it also has unlimited data! Now, the unlimited means 22 gig at full speed monthly, and anything after that is throttled. However, even the throttled speeds are enough to stream Netflix.


All the Canadian carriers use wireless telephony that are the same as what AT&T and Sprint use. Verizon is different, and our Canadian phones will not work on that. However, getting my Canadian phone unlocked allows me to put an AT&T SIM card in it with no problem.


Frank.
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dauninge

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2018, 06:15:58 AM »
I just switched from AT&T to T-Mobile. I get 2 lines with unlimited text, talk, and 4G LTE data, with 1 line able to tether, or hotspot, at unlimited 4G LTE data, for 70.00 per month. I was paying 150 per month with AT&T for 1 line and 35 GB of data.

It was a no brainer for me. I had been with AT&T for 20 years, but the T-Mobile deal was just too good. So far so good.

I don't travel much, so I'm to concerned about coverage. It works where I am.

I think every major carrier has "dead zones", so it's just to figure out where you travel the most, and what carrier covers that area the best.
Dawn
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MikeStafford

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2018, 08:28:06 AM »
 We are T Mobile users.  They have a senior plan that gives you truly unlimited data at the highest speed at a cost of $35 per month per line.  They offer a hot spot that will go into our motorhome for an additional $10 a month that includes unlimited data and will give us connection while on the road.  Their service has expanded to one of the best coverages offered.  They are also the best network for the new, upcoming Band 71 coverage which will be quickly rolling out.  I could find nothing to beat that offer.

jayc2640

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2018, 11:27:57 AM »
These plans are making my mouth water!  We have a verizon mifi unlimited with a throttle after 15GB, and two phones that cost us over $200 a month.  I'm starting to think that I should see what it would cost me to get out of my verizon contract.
- John Coffey
2012 Monaco Lapalma 30 SFS

Tom

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2018, 11:50:59 AM »
I recently dropped our T-mobile data plan that we've had since 2004. Verizon gives us good coverage in places where T-mobile provides no coverage. Before dropping T-mobile, I signed up for the AT&T data plan with the Mobley device (half the price of T-mobile). TM coverage in those early years was great all across the US and eastern Canada, but I think things changed when they no longer had a roaming agreement with AT&T.

My favorite T-mobile data story ... one year we were visiting our oldest son in Wales, and I couldn't get a signal with T-mobile. Then I remembered that the walls of his house were 28" thick and made of stone. Took the laptop out to the garden, and voilla!

For several years we had phones with T-mobile, but switched to VZW phone service some years ago. Our home phone service has also been with VZW for a number of years (use our cordless phones with VZW's Home Connect box).

FWIW we weren't getting good service from VZW, T-mobile or AT&T at our summer retreat in WY, and last year I signed up for DSL with the local provider. They have a 'vacation' option that costs $2/month when we're not there.
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dauninge

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2018, 11:54:34 AM »
Yeah, the plan I have with T-Mobile is the 55+ plan. 2 lines, unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data for $60.00 total per month.
Then, for 10.00 more per month, I got 1 line with unlimited 4G LTE hotspot capabilities. (Otherwise tethering is at 3G) Throttling starts after 50GB, but only if you're in a congested area. Besides, 50GB is plenty for. I only need 1 line, but it was cheaper to get the plan for 2 lines, so I did.

So, 70.00 per month total.

Just figure out what it would cost to get out of your contract and compare to what you will be saving. I'm not sure if T-Mobile has a "We'll pay your switching fees" or not.
Wouldn't hurt to ask them.
Dawn
1995 Southwind 33 (Retired)
2005 Georgie Boy Pursuit M 3500DS

yolo

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2018, 09:11:27 AM »
Tom, how much tax is charged in Florida for the Fi service.  I hate the high tax charges on Verizon, AT&T, etc.  I am looking to get the service on a Moto X4 phone and mainly use it for international trips. T-Mobile and Sprint are not great carriers in my area and US Cellular is non existent. My normal service is from Cricket at $35 no tax and 5 gB of data.  I normally use less than 0.5 gB so the Fi data charges won't be much.

I don't plan to port my main number yet until I see if it works for me.  If I get rid of Fi later, I can use the Moto X4 on any other network.

If I get the service, I will use your referral  2KX6EY so you will get the $20 referral fee.  Thanks
Bill Bell -- SW Florida
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Gizmo

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2018, 09:20:07 AM »
Good to keep an eye on.  We just switched to T-Mobile from Verizon as their offering was a no brainer for us.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
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SeilerBird

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Re: Best carrier for RVers
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2018, 09:37:19 AM »
Tom, how much tax is charged in Florida for the Fi service.  I hate the high tax charges on Verizon, AT&T, etc.  I am looking to get the service on a Moto X4 phone and mainly use it for international trips. T-Mobile and Sprint are not great carriers in my area and US Cellular is non existent. My normal service is from Cricket at $35 no tax and 5 gB of data.  I normally use less than 0.5 gB so the Fi data charges won't be much.

I don't plan to port my main number yet until I see if it works for me.  If I get rid of Fi later, I can use the Moto X4 on any other network.

If I get the service, I will use your referral  2KX6EY so you will get the $20 referral fee.  Thanks
The tax is $4.68 per month. My total bill is $34.68 for one gig. But I am almost half way through my billing period and I have only used 0.08 GB so next bill will be $25.
I would like to apologize to anyone I have not yet offended. Please be patient and I will get to you shortly.
Favorite 2017 shots:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/y0HbMU5KYa2hx02E3
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My Grand Canyon shots:
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