Using Google Fi in Portland Oregon and Beyond


Update 12-3-18: Project Fi is now called Google Fi. iPhones are now in beta-testing for this network. More on this here:

Four months into using Google Fi (formerly Project Fi) cellular network, and I am decently satisfied. Though the coverage is not quite as complete as my former network, Verizon, the pros of being on this network far outweigh this network’s coverage short comings. The major pros are clear and transparent pricing, prorated billing, coverage where I need it, and the simplicity of using my Google account to access my account.

First off, coverage. As someone who spends 90% of their time in a city, in my case, Portland, OR, coverage has been complete. Everywhere I go in Portland I have a 4G LTE signal. Project Fi, also automatically and securely connects me to trusted WiFi hot spots in order to save me data use. What’s been strange, is that in my house for some reason, calls drop from time to time. This has been a tad frustrating, but I’ve found that if I stay in one place during the call I remain connected. Again though, this dropped call circumstance isn’t happening on every call, and the pros of this network outweigh this minor inconvenience. (Hey Google, if you ever read this, please reach out, I’d be happy to work with you all on trouble shooting this!)

Though I’m based in Portland, I have traveled to a few different places since getting on this network. Here are the places I’ve traveled and network coverage I experienced:

  • Hawaii (Big Island), I had 4G LTE coverage from Just South of Kona where my hotel was, all the way to Hapuna Beach State Park 40 miles north, and almost everywhere in between. The few times my phone did lose signal, my wife, who has Verizon lost signal as well.
  • Reno, NV. I had great 4G coverage on a trip to Reno, which included spending time in Carson City, and a small town nestled at the base of the Sierras called Genoa.
  • Eugene, Springfield, and Creswell OR. I have good coverage in these three towns, which are about 100 miles south of Portland. When I go into the country however, away from Interstate 5 or a few miles outside of these towns I lose coverage.
  • Mount Hood Meadows – I have coverage on Project Fi! As a skier, having coverage at the mountain was huge. Project Fi has coverage throughout Mount Hood Meadows Resort. I haven’t explored the Mount Hood Back Country with this phone, but I would anticipate there are many valleys where the signal would be lost. I also don’t recall if I had a signal at the Hood River Express lodge, because I did not spend very much time there.
  • Corvallis to Newport – I had a 4 g LTE signal on Fi at the rest area in between Corvallis and Newport. It’s a pretty isolated and hilly spot, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw I had a signal.

One of the big reasons I switched to Google Project Fi, is that I wanted to get off of my old network. I had expansive billing issues for the 5 years I was with them. The big ongoing billing issue was that I had to do digging to see what I was being charged for.

Project Fi on the other hand has been very transparent:

  • $20 for unlimited talk and text
  • $10 per gig of data, which is 100% prorated.
    Last month I used 4.631 gigs of data, and my data charge was $46.31. It’s so cool to only pay for what data I use.
  • $5 device protection
  • Taxes and Regulatory for Fees were $2.37 last month.

Project Fi also just added a brand new pricing feature called “Data Protection” – this is a cool feature wherein data charges are capped at 6 gb, so I will never pay more that $60 for monthly data use.

Having simple pricing has been a huge win. If you live in an area with Fi coverage I would definitely recommend checking Project Fi out for your cellular service. Please hit me up in the comments if you have any questions on my experience with Fi.

5 comments on “Using Google Fi in Portland Oregon and Beyond”

  1. Thanks for the write up man. We’re in Southern Oregon and are considering leaving ATT for P-fi.

    We’re both on Google phones, 6p and an OG Pixel. I may step up to pixel 3 when it’s released or pickup a 2 on discount real soon.

    I’m really close too pulling the trigger on this for My wife and I, plus her Mom who’s on an add-a-line with us now.

    Her mom travels around in an RV in a lot of rural areas and we love to camp so we’re a little apprehensive about coverage with fi. What would you say?

    Are we going to miss having data when we’re in the campground or driving up the coast for the weekend? It seems like the addition of US cellular network is huge for that but I don’t know how will USC does outside of this area. They seem to kill it in the woods here.

    Your thoughts are appreciated. Peace.


    1. Hi Wes,

      You’re welcome! I don’t have a lot of experience with Project Fi in southern OR, but I can say the signal is lost for a small stretch between Albany and Salem, and in some more rural valleys. At higher elevations, such as halfway up Mount Hood, signal kicks in.

      I’d say, this is a much more limited network than Verizon, but it’s such a great value, and I really enjoy being with Google for the service.

      One idea would be to check out their coverage tool. I simply searched for Mitchell OR where I have some cousins, and there is NO coverage, so I hope they have good wifi when I visit.

      Good luck. Thanks for the comment!

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