|USING CELLULAR IN MEXICO
( Celular en México )
Mexican Cellular Carriers:
is presented here as a Mexican carrier due
to their major acquisitions of 2 Mexico carriers,
Iusacell and Nextel of Mexico. AT&T will combine these networks and
offer a formidable product for both Mexican
and US customers. They are expected to upgrade
both networks to 4G LTE. For now, US customers
should wait to see what offers will be coming,
including from the AT&T-owned, Cricket
Wireless. We expect the Roaming US customer
will benefit significantly with their own
AT&T phone in the near future. This may
have major consequences in the Mexico wireless
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. Most of the
phones Iusacell sells are GSM 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
toward 4G LTE, and retirement of CDMA service.
Also, AT&T has agreed to acquire Nextel of Mexico, which, if combined with the Iusacell network,
will provide an excellent choice for Mexico
wireless service. For now, Iusacell has a
few stores and kiosks and if you can get
a deal on one of their prepaid phones, they
offer more minutes for your money, but not
really enough to make a difference. Over
the years we have only found one Iusacell
store, and only one kiosk, to make a purchase.
Iusacell Coverage Map
Movistar offers prepaid options and their
GSM network is a very close #2 in coverage.
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.
most recently, calls to the US were about
$1.25 for the whole 15 minute period. 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. Calls to 611,
and to check your balance, involve a charge.
Movistar Coverage Map
||NEXTEL of MEXICO
Nextel has agreed to be acquired by AT&T.
They use a mixture of technologies that will
change if the AT&T acquisition is approved,
which may occur quite quickly. 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.
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.
Nextel is currently in bankruptcy so we expect
no improvements until AT&T becomes the
new owner. At that time, this network will
be combined with Iusacell and upgraded to
Nextel Coverage Map
TelCel currently offers the most 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. 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. TelCel is owned by
the same company that owns TracFone in the
US. The future of TelCel is uncertain because
they need to sell some of their assets comply
with new government regulations. This may
affect TelCel's coverage but we imagine they
will only sell under favorable terms.
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. At last report you could also choose
3 "Free" numbers within Mexico
that you will be able to call Free for the
first 5 minutes as well as Unlimited Text
Messages to those numbers. Incoming calls
are usually Free on all calls.
Our TelCel refills didn't "roll over".
When you add a new prepaid card 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
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