Tuesday, April 24, 2018

How we saved over $600 on wireless service?

Project Fi is a wireless service from Google. Project Fi automatically connects you to the best available signal, whether that's Wi-Fi or one of its three 4G LTE partner networks (T-Mobile, US Cellular & Sprint).

I was enrolled in the cheapest plan i.e. $20 for unlimited text and calling. In addition I had on-demand data at 10$/GB. The rate might look excessive but I only pay for data I consume. I had my data turned off most of the times.

Typically, I got a 10.0$ (full) refund for my unused data which gets applied to the next month. I also had international data roaming at 10$/GB. International data was very useful during our vacation to Canada. Before switching to Project Fi I had unlimited text and talk plan with AT&T (no data).

Has switching to Project Fi worked out? Let’s do the numbers. I was with Project Fi from January 2017 to March 2018. If I had stayed with my AT&T plan I would have spent $405.00 @ $27.00 per month.

With Project Fi I ended up spending $512.51. Out of my total expenditure $155.7 went towards my new phone (I had 2-year 0% financing through Google). Effectively, I spent $356.81 for my mobile services. That’s $48.19 in savings.

Project Fi service is good. In addition to pay-as-you-go data I also love the international roaming. But, I think it’s time for a change. Sprint is offering an entire year of free service - including unlimited data, talk, and text.

Sprint Unlimited Plan - Free for 1 Year

With the new Sprint plan my wireless bill is slashed to almost zero. I still need to pay taxes and universal access fee. That comes out to 4.52$ per month or 55.00$ for a year. In addition, I had to pay off my phone as I am no longer with Google. That is an additional 93$. All together my expenses for the next 12 months come out to $148.00.

If I had stayed with Project Fi for another 12 months I would have ended up with a total payment of $333.0. My effective savings over the next year would be $185.0. My savings was limited as I was already on a cheap plan.

I was also able to convince Mrs.DG to switch to Sprint. Prior to switching to Sprint she was on a 40.0$ per month AT&T plan. So, with her switch we ended up saving $425.0. We did use some of the savings to get a new phone as her phone was old and not compatible with Sprint.

Overall we will end up saving 610$.

Switching from AT&T to Sprint is a breeze. Switching from Project Fi to Sprint is a lot of work but not complicated. Project Fi uses Sprint as one of its underlying service providers. So, in order to take advantage of this promotion I had to port my Project Fi number to Google Voice. This is relatively easy and can be completed online. Don’t forget to create a pin for your Google voice account.

The last step is to call Sprint and port Google voice number to Sprint using your phone number as account number and Google voice pin. During the entire process you would not have access to wireless service. Unfortunately the SIM card sent to me was incompatible with my phone and I had to wait few more days to get a new one. Even after that I could not get 4G LTE. Finally, I had to do a factory reset on network settings to fix this problem.

Sprint network is not one of the best. However, around our home and office Sprint network is not bad (82.84% coverage). We have 4G LTE everywhere and all our calls always go through. Coverage is definitely something to keep in mind.


  1. Nice job on the savings DG. Owning the big 2 US wireless carriers (VZ and T) it makes me wonder about the sustainability of their profits. Seems like the service is becoming a commodity subject to a lot of price pressure. Good for the consumer, bad for the investor. Tom

    1. Thanks Tom. They will continue to generate revenue and profits. I don't think profits will grow as fast. So, they would still be cash cows paying good dividends :-)