Google recently rolled out the ability to use Google Fi via eSIM for existing customers of the cellular service on iOS, assuming their iPhone supports it. For this you’ll need the latest version of the Google Fi iOS app and an iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, 11 series, or 2020 SE, as those phones offer Dual SIM functionality. Google added eSIM support for new Google Fi customers, remember previously, only new Google Fi subscribers on iOS could use eSIM.
Google Fi iOS update say that “you can now activate Fi via eSIM on select iPhone devices,” and follow the instructions on the Google Fi website to add a cellular plan to their iPhone to get eSIM to work.
What is Google Fi?
Google Fi formerly Project Fi, is a MVNO telecommunications service by Google that provides telephone calls, SMS, and mobile broadband using cellular networks and Wi-Fi. Google Fi uses networks operated by Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. Google Fi is a service for US residents and in few cities in Canada that offer Telus plans.
Earlier this service was launched for Google phones and now has support for iPhones. Google Fi automatically switches between networks depending on signal strength and speed. It can automatically connect to Wi-Fi hotspots with encryption through an automatic VPN. Phone calls transition between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. With all networks combined, the service covers more than 170 countries around the world.
A subscription costs $20 per month for unlimited calls and messaging, plus a customizable data allowance costing an additional $10 per gigabyte. Money for unused data is credited back to the user’s account, and overuse of data costs an additional $10 per gigabyte.
Google Fi currently offers a plan for current clients to share their own personal coupon code. Each referral code is worth $20 to the current client, and $20 for each new client signing up. A group plan costs an additional $15 per user per month, and offers features including data overview, data notifications, monthly allowances, and the ability to pause users’ data usage.
A data-only SIM card can be used on supported tablets, smartphones, and car modems (e.g., Volvo). A Data-only sim will have access to data, but will not be able to make calls or transmit texts across cellular networks
Google Fi now offers an ‘Unlimited’ Plan for its users for a flat rate of $70 per month with up to 22GB of high speed data. After 22GB, speeds are throttled to 256KB/s. On both plans, users can pay an additional $10 per 1GB until their next billing cycle.
Activate Google Fi eSim on an iPhone
Google Fi, can now be activated on an iPhone via eSIM. That means you can use a Google Fi number on your iPhone in addition to your phone number that’s hooked up to the physical SIM card that sits in the SIM tray in your iPhone. It also means you can get a Google Fi number without having a SIM card mailed to you or having to buy one at a retail store.
The thing to note is that Google says that only new Google Fi users can activate via eSIM on iOS, and activation over eSIM is only supported by iPhones with Dual SIM functionality: the iPhone XR, XS, XS Max, and 11 series of phones.
If you’re a new Google Fi customer and have a supported iPhone, Google has a support page with instructions about how to activate your Google Fi via eSIM. You’ll need to sign up for Google Fi on the Google Fi website, opt in to “Quick setup” on the website, and download the Google Fi iOS app to be able to activate over eSIM. Once you have everything set up, visit http://fi.google.com/ios/quicksetup on a device that’s not your iPhone, such as your laptop, then sign in to your account and follow the instructions.
Is Google Fi eSIM support on iOS available in Canada?
At the time of writing this post Google Fi services are not fully available in Canada The Services must be primarily used in the United States and are not intended for extended international use. Further, the Services are designed for use predominantly within Google network. If your usage outside their network is excessive, abnormally high, or cause it to incur too much cost, they may, at their option and sole discretion, suspend your Google Fi account, terminate your service, or limit your use of roaming. The unfortunate state of connectivity in Canada is likely the limiting factor that’s preventing the service from being offered here. Chances are they wouldn’t be able to provide comparative plans at anywhere near the current prices. If they did they would be offering a superior service than Bell, Rogers, or Telus, and delivering it over their networks and Canadian telecom companies won’t agree to that.