Mexican Cellular Carriers:
||IUSACELL operates both GSM and CDMA networks that
are not as expansive as the other carriers
in Mexico. Most of the phones Iusacell sells
are GSM and coverage for those phones is
somewhat better than CDMA phones. Their CDMA
network is maintained for the small number
of CDMA phone owners in Mexico and roamers
from the US who can use their Verizon and
Sprint phones. Iusacell has agreed to be acquired by AT&T which could change the Mexico wireless landscape
considerably. We expect AT&T
significant upgrades to the Iusacell
hopefully to 4G LTE, and probably
changing roaming agreements for
(and Cricket) roamers from the
US. For now,
Iusacell has a few stores and
if you can get a deal on one
of their prepaid
phones, they offer more minutes
money, but not really enough
to make a difference.
Over the years we have only found
store, and only one kiosk, to
make a purchase.
Iusacell Coverage Map
||MOVISTAR offers prepaid options and their GSM network
is almost as good as TelCel's. 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. We were
able to renew our Pay-Per-Call plan ("Movistar
Pro Llamada") which gives you at least
15 minutes of talk to anywhere for a flat
fee, currently calls to the US are about
$1.25. However, we cannot confirm that Pay-Per-Call
is available to new customers. We have never
been able to access any English-speaking
assistance at Movistar, either on cellular,
or at their national toll-free number. Like
TelCel, Movistar calls to 611, and to check
your balance, involve a charge.
Movistar Coverage Map
||NEXTEL of MEXICO is very different from the old US version.
Their 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. They have created a new, "Red"
network which currently doesn't have as much
coverage as their old iDEN network but it
includes Broadband coverage in some areas.
We expect the Red network will expand to
serve their entire service area.
Nextel Coverage Map
||TELCEL offers the best coverage in the country,
and sells a nice 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. 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 an unlocked GSM phone online
or at eBay, and use that phone on the TelCel
network. The future of TelCel has a few clouds
on the horizon 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
There are several price benefits among TelCel's
Amigo plans, including the same flat rate
on calls to any other phone in Mexico or
the US, excluding Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto
Rico. You can also choose 3 "Free Numbers"
within Mexico that will get you Free calls
for the first 5 minutes as well as Unlimited
Text Messages to those numbers. Incoming
calls are usually free on all calls.
If you don't speak Spanish, it
may be difficult
to ask for the features you want,
so get help with translation. If you can, ask as many questions at the
TelCel retailer about what charges apply
to your specific calls. 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 for this purpose.
Telcel also offers wireless service
US including a Spanish language
Get Details on the America Movil Networks.
Telcel Mexico Coverage Maps
Using The MEXICO CELLULAR Web Site: