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Mexican Cellular Carriers:
Listed alphabetically

AT&T Discounts AT&T
AT&T is the newest Mexican carrier after their acquisition of 2 Mexico carriers, Iusacell and Nextel of Mexico. AT&T has combined these networks and offers a competitive product for both Mexican and US customers. They are upgrading both networks to 4G LTE. Mexico AT&T customers will have both roaming and calling benefits across the border, to and from the US, Mexico and Canada.  Expect significant competition and benefits for Mexican customers. AT&T's own network is under construction but an US AT&T phone will roam on whichever network is available. AT&T customers can call all customers of AT&T, Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon and Cricket in Mexico, Canada and the US without additional charges.

IUSACELL
Iusacell is now owned by AT&T. Iusacell currently operates both GSM and CDMA networks that are not as expansive as the other carriers in Mexico. Iusacell now only sells GSM phones and their CDMA network is maintained for the small number of CDMA phone owners in Mexico and roamers from the US who use Verizon and Sprint phones. AT&T ownership should mean significant changes including better Mexico roaming for US AT&T costumers, expansion of the network to 4G LTE, and retirement of CDMA service. Also, AT&T has acquired Nextel of Mexico, which is being combined with the Iusacell network, and will provide an excellent choice for Mexico wireless service. Over time the AT&T brand will replace the Iusacell name. Iusacell customers can call all customers of AT&T, Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon and Cricket in Mexico, Canada and the US without additional charges.
Iusacell Coverage Map


MOVISTAR
Movistar offers prepaid options and their GSM network is currently the second best in Mexico, although we have no reports of 4G availability. You can buy a Movistar SIM-only and use your own unlocked GSM phone. Movistar retailers are hard to find, but refills are available at many convenience stores through the store's computer. Movistar offers competitive plans which include Calls & Text to and from the US and Canada. We have never been able to access any English-speaking assistance at Movistar, either on cellular, or at their national toll-free number. Calls to 611, and to check your balance, involve a charge.
Movistar Coverage Map


NEXTEL of MEXICO
Nextel has been acquired by AT&T. This Nextel uses a mixture of technologies that will change under AT&T ownership. Nextel's iDEN technology coverage is better within the interior of Mexico and not as extensive around the resorts, but it works very well within their service area. They don't offer much for the short-time visitor but have a big following among business people, especially for their Direct Connect Walkie-Talkie service. AT&T ownership should mean significant changes including better Mexico roaming for US AT&T costumers and expansion of the network to 4G LTE. AT&T has combined Nextel network with Iusacel and will provide an excellent choice for Mexico wireless service. Over time the AT&T brand will replace the Nextel name. Nextel customers can call all customers of AT&T, Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon and Cricket in Mexico, Canada and the US without additional charges.
Nextel Coverage Map


TELCEL
Telcel currently offers the best coverage in the country, and sells a prepaid package, "Amigo", that includes phone, SIM ("chip") and a prepaid card. Some retailers offer just the SIM, some of which have minutes already loaded on them, which can be inserted into your own unlocked GSM phone. Some retailers charge an extra fee to help you get set up...it could be worth it. If your phone is not unlocked, your GSM carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile and others) may provide you with your unlock code. If not, or if you don't subscribe to those networks, you can buy almost any unlocked GSM phone just for use in Mexico.

The future of TelCel is a bit cloudy as they will be required to sell a certain percentage of their network to comply with new government regulations. This may affect TelCel's coverage but we imagine they will only sell under favorable terms. Even though Telcel advertises themselves as "4G LTE," we could find nothing better than 3G.  They will upgrade to compete but we can't guess how soon.

To compete against the incoming AT&T plans, Telcel now offers roaming and calling in both the US and Mexico without extra charges. Most incoming calls are free.


Also, our TelCel refills don't "roll over". Add a new prepaid card and you lose some or all of your previous minutes. TelCel refills are available at many retail outlets. A few still sell the refill cards, but most now take your number and enter your purchase in the computer, which is immediately credited to your phone. Calls to customer service (264) or to check your balance are charged against your minutes, but they usually add a few extra for this purpose.

Telcel also offers wireless service in the US including a Spanish language web site. Get Details on the America Movil Networks.
Telcel Mexico Coverage Maps



Unefon UNEFON
Unefon was part of the previous Iusacel network which has been acquired by AT&T. It will survive as the prepaid version of the new AT&T product in Mexico and will eventually use the updated AT&T Mexico network. Unlike the US, Mexico has very few "alternative"  wireless carriers (like Tracfone, etc.).  Unefon aims to be similar to those carriers that offer a different product to appeal to a different type of user with calling to and from the US and Canada included.  Unefon customers can call all customers of AT&T, Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon and Cricket in Mexico, Canada and the US without additional charges.


More MEXICO CELLULAR Resources:

This is your guide to using cellular service in Mexico. We give a brief review of the wireless carriers in Mexico and their value to the long or short term visitor to Mexico. Our focus is on wireless information for English-speaking travelers, especially those who want to use their US-based wireless phone while visiting Mexico. We have sections on how to use your phone, how to get the cheapest service, what to avoid, and specific recommendations:
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