WIRELESS CALLS IN MEXICO
How to Make
Calls, Access Data and Save Money While Using Wireless in Mexico.
- Making Calls in Mexico is Different!
you've worked ahead, none of your phone book entries will work when
calling from Mexico, including for Voice Mail. You might assume you
can't call out from Mexico and give up. What to do?
Plus Sign ("+") Makes Calling Easy
Mexico, or at home, adding the "+"
before a number tells the phone you want it to determine the dialing
sequence. The digits that follow include the country code,
followed by the individual phone number. While in Mexico, the
"+" tells the phone to automatically enter "001" before the country
code (which is "1" for the US), then followed by the 10-digit number.
If this sequence is already saved in your phone book, the
call can be made as you would at home. There is no
harm saving all your domestic phone book entries with the "+"
sign before the "1" and the 10-digit number. This is also
recommended for your Voice Mail access number.
The + sign is
added in various ways based on the phone model, the most
common is holding the "0" (zero) button until the "+" appears.
- Remember to Enable Data Roaming
Even though you think your phone's cellular data should work in Mexico,
your phone may have a selection in Settings that prohibits data
roaming. Look for a slide button or check box that allows data roaming.
In Android phones it may look like: SETTINGS > Wireless &
Networks: MORE > CELLULAR NETWORKS > DATA ROAMING >
- Your Voice Mail Button (Icon) May Not Work in Mexico
Your phone may have the Voice Mail number
pre-programmed in it, and, in most cases, it won't work outside the US.
You must enter the proper sequence of numbers and it may not be
programmed in your phone. In most cases, you can access your
Voice Mail the foreign country's international long distance access
code. In Mexico, that's "001". Using the "+" as noted
above, is a valid short cut. Then enter the US country code, "1"
followed by your own 10-digit number. If your number is
213-555-1234, to call your own voice mail from Mexico is:
- Long Distance Calls FROM Mexico:
To a Mexican
telephone number: 01 + city code + local number
To the U.S.
or Canada: 001 + area code + local number
countries: 00 + country code + city code + local number
To a cell
phone in Mexico: 045 + area code + local number
calls in Mexico: 020
calls to other countries: 090
- Long Distance Calls TO Phones in Mexico:
Mexico: 01 + city code + local number
U.S. or Canada: 011 + 52 + city code + local number
countries: international access code + 52 + city code + local number
Calls to a
cell phone from outside Mexico: omit the "044" which is often given in
the prefix of a cell phone number.
- Remember, Your US Wireless Number Does
you are roaming in Mexico, anyone calling you will need to enter your
normal cell phone number including 1 plus the 10-digit number, regardless
where they're calling from. For outgoing calls, your cell phone will behave
like a local telephone. You do not need to use the country code for
calls to telephones within Mexico, but calls to Mexican cell phones
need the "44" or "45" code in place of the country code. You do need
the country code for all calls to numbers outside of Mexico. Remember
the country code for USA is "1".
US "800" Numbers Can Be Accessed from Mexico
by using the "001" ("+1" on
GSM phones) before the 800 number. Most US 800 numbers do not accept
calls from Mexico since they are paying for the call. Most large
companies, like credit cards and wireless carriers have a normal
you can call in the US if you cannot make a call to a US "800" number. This is can be made "Collect" and will be free.
Calls to US "Toll-Free" 800 Numbers (001-800... in Mexico) are Not
minute (or per call) rates apply, but long distance charges do not.
Mexico also uses the "800" prefix for their own toll-free numbers, so
be careful. Without entering the long distance calling code, you may be calling someone in Mexico.
the Official Number for All
Emergencies in Mexico
This is a change made in 2016.
tourist towns English-speaking help is often available, otherwise be
ready to speak some Spanish. If you have trouble being understood, try
calling your hotel and ask them for help. Program in their number as
soon as you arrive. The conversion to "911" has not occurred in every
state in Mexico but your phone should convert to the right number,
- 10-digit dialing:
calls in Mexico require 10-digit dialing (city code + 7-digit number),
but always use all 10 digits since your
phone knows the right procedure.
Many Mexico Cell Phone Numbers Use the Prefix "044" (or 045).
This is only used when calling the number locally and is omitted for
incoming international calls. For example, to place a call locally to a
cell phone you must dial 044 + the 10-digit number. To place a long
distance call to the cell phone you omit the 044, e.g. 011-52 + the
10-digit number. To place an international call to a cell phone, you
now must add a "1" after the country code, i.e. 011-52-1 + 10-digit
number. If you are calling a
Mexican cell phone from within Mexico but it is a long distance call,
the prefix is 045, then dial the 10-digit
number. Omit the 045 when calling from outside Mexico and dial 011-52 +
1 + the 10-digit number.
Can Be a Per Minute Charge for Calls That Go to Voice Mail,
even if your
phone is off and even if no message is left. You can have your home
carrier temporarily disable voice mail. Make sure your own network
knows when you are "home" by turning on your phone once you arrive in
the US. Some carriers, like AT&T, don't charge for these calls
if your phone is turned off, but Cricket Wireless,
an AT&T company, does charge for calls sent to voice mail, even
when your phone is off and no message is left.
- Calls to Your Own US Cellular Service
Provider Do Not Incur Charges
This includes calls to "611" and the carrier's non Toll-Free number.
Check with your carrier before you leave to make sure. They may be able
to help with some of your Roaming problems in English. Ask for their
non-"800" number in case you need to call them "Collect".
- Consider Having One
Party Call the Other Party Back
from Mexico are included in your wireless plan, consider a
short call to the US to have the other party call you back based on who
has the cheapest rate. A person calling your US wireless number may
only be calling a local (to them) number. Charges for long distance
calls from the US to Mexico can vary widely.
May Need ID to Buy a Cellular Phone or SIM
This is normal in most countries to thwart drug
dealers. However, some Mexican cellular retailers offer pre-activated
phones and SIM's for the convenience of tourists. Don't be afraid to
ask. This may eliminate the need to go through a lengthy application.
- Mexico Roaming May Need to be Activated
with phones from US carriers. This is usually done for free by
customer service and you should ask them to do it before you leave the
US. It usually only needs to be done once. Your carrier's web
site may provide information about the status of Mexico roaming.
Your Wireless Phone to Make Calls from Your Hotel
If you make
calls from your hotel or resort they will most likely charge a
significant fee for
calls, including for Local, Long Distance and "Toll-Free" numbers. Fees
can be as high as $5US per call. Use the hotel phone for room-to-room
are observations we and other contributors have noted while calling in
Mexico, yours may be different, and prices are subject to change. If
so, we'd like to hear from you.