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Karma and Googles Project Fi


SWharton

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I am always interested in a better internet connection when on the road. We only need the internet when we are traveling and only if a CG doesn't have internet. In Karma, your purchased G's don't expire and in Project Fi a credit is given for unused G's. Both are steps in the right direction.

 

I have just read about Karma, sounds fascinating but the network used is Sprint and there is no display of their coverage in the US. I have found the Sprint network is generally poor coverage but that was several years ago.

 

The other new option is Google Project Fi. Only available through 3 models of the Nexus phone. This service combines 2 carriers, TMobile and Sprint. It only connects to open, public wifi networks. The monthly fee for the phone alone is only $20 and then you add on Gs. If I was interested in a new phone this would interest me as a backup service since it is pay as you go.

 

Both of these services seem to be a step in a different direction. Hopefully this is the beginning of a new approach. Neither service meets my needs but may meet the needs of others.

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My Son has been waiting for his Nexus 6s from Fi. Should have it by the 14th of Nov.

 

As for Sprint, I have been using them for over 15 years and, like anything, it varies with the territory. However, I am still on an unlimited plan with 1500 anytime minutes a month on a family plan. I have not been anywhere that Verizon worked and Sprint did not. I have not been anywhere that AT&T worked and Sprint did not.

 

Having said that, their infrastructure rework is still in progress but by the end of 2013, they were as fast or faster than anything else in the locations. Sprint Spark is the fastest yet but very limited mostly to larger cities downtown.

 

As a small example, I am currently in Sequim, WA, pop 6600 on the western Olympic peninsula. I have a JetPack 6620L from Verizon and am pulling -93dbm signal strength. Typical measured speeds (with multiple speed tests) is around 5-6 mbps on a 20mbps unlimited service plan.

 

On my SPrint Note 4, on a LTE connection at -91dbm, I pull about 12 - 18mbps. Same on my Nexus Galaxy 4 year old phone. I have seen over 20 on a few occasions. I have also seen less than 5mbps. Same with Verizon at those times so the problem is likely external to the cell-to-phone connectivity and farther up the chain.

 

I have been places where there is no Sprint towers at all and used the Verizon service on my cell with no charges for several weeks. Yeah, maybe Verizon gets a lot of hoot about their speeds and coverage but honestly, I have not been unhappy with Sprint except when I am in a place *(like the Evergreen SKP COHO park, in Chimacum) where there is almost no cell service of any kind. In that area, the only coverage map that accurately reflects the connectivity there, is T-Mobile's. They show a coverage hole around the park that matches Verizon and Sprint. A few people have said that AT&T works there but I don't know what their unit of worth is in making that determination.

 

The FI.com direction is what the Google - Sprint liason that started with Google Talk several years ago, is going to be the future. It is paving the way for Low Earth Orbit satellite connectivity with seamless handoffs of all content. The technology is here to do that. It wasn't 40 years ago when Satellite Business Systems tried to do it.

 

My Note 4 has fulll multi carrier hardware so it will connect to every kind of cell service. That is what FI will eventually become.

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Maybe Sprint has changed. I gave up on them about 10 years ago. We tend to wander to less populated places and Sprint generally had only coverage along the interstates and, in gthose days, looking at their coverage map. SD,ND,WY etc. had zero coverage.............................

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The maps cover their Sprint network but they have arrangements with many other networks and include them in their unlimited free plans. My oldest son while being a long haul driver, started off with sprint and ranged from the NE to Florida to Arizona to Wyoming and to California a few times.

 

He started with Sprint and was quite happy with it. He decided to go cheap and tried several plans like Straight Talk which operated on the Sprint network. What he found was that there were a lot of places that he had been having fine connectivity while actually on a Sprint plan but which did not have anything for him on any of these several alacarte programs. He found this pretty much true mostly west of the mississippi but had some places, like regions of Florida, where his cheap service did not work.

 

That totally ambiguous concept of "off of the Sprint network" can be misleading, as can the coverage maps. Where we are right now, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile are all on the same physical tower and they all are marginal service. Don't have personal experience with AT*T but past experience has made me leary of the company, but that's just me.

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This is interesting. I have a Straight Talk phone and have good service most of the time. DW has a Sprint phone(we feel better with 2 carriers) and has far less service than I do. My Straight Talk is on the ATT network. This must all depend where you like to hang out.

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Until I can find a plan that beats $144/mo unlimited everything for 2 phones and an Airvana Cell to Wifi box, I will stick with them. I have no "usual" gb stats and range from about 2gb/mo to over 50gb/mo and that is just what I have measured when being conscientious about usage.

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