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CELLULAR ROAMING IN MEXICO
Using Your Own US-Based Wireless Phone

( Celular itinerancia en México )

Explore your options with your current cellular phone. Compare the costs and features or take Our Recommendations. Carriers are listed alphabetically. Prices are in US Dollars.

Phones with US-Based Cellular Carriers:
AT&T Discounts AT&T:
Since they use GSM technology, roaming coverage is extensive throughout Mexico, however, AT&T charges postpaid users .99 per minute roaming charges. Text Messaging is .50 Sent, .20 Received. AT&T offers various plans for Mexico roaming with different levels of charges.


A great alternative for AT&T customers is to purchase an AT&T GoPhone SIM. Slip this SIM into your AT&T phone and you can roam in Mexico for .25/minute with no additional roaming charges and no daily access fee, no Data is included. Having free access to AT&T customer service can be very helpful. Find out how to set up an AT&T GoPhone to get your calls in Mexico.
CRICKET WIRELESS:
Cricket has been acquired by AT&T. Cricket phones will work in Mexico for Talk and Text with the Cricket International Roaming Mexico add-on which gives you 100 Voice minutes and 100 Texts, but no Data, while Roaming in Mexico, either one time or monthly.
METROPCS
New MetroPCS phones roam in Mexico with a $10 per month add-on that allows 200 Voice minutes and 200 Texts, but no Data, while Roaming in Mexico.

PAGE PLUS:
Page Plus Cellular is one of our recommended prepaid services and they use the Verizon network in the US. Their phones will roam in Mexico on the same networks as Verizon, with a rate of $1.10/minute, which is only slightly higher than Verizon's own Mexico roaming rate. This includes calls to Mexico and USA numbers.
Get Page Plus Plans & Phones @ Less Than Retail
SPRINT:
Sprint phones use the smaller CDMA network in Mexico. Sprint's Mexico Voice Roaming fees are an astounding $2.29 per minute for both incoming and outgoing calls in Mexico. Text Messaging is .50 sent, .15 received. Data is .019/kB (GPRS) and .004/kB (CDMA 1x/Ev). Sprint also offers phones with international GSM capabilities which allows you to access more networks in a much greater number of countries, available for purchase or rent.
Get Sprint Phones @ Less Than Retail
T-MOBILE:
T-Mobile phones work well in Mexico since they use GSM technology, and reports are they now use multiple networks. T-Mobile's regular plans allow you to roam in Mexico with either reasonable, or no, additional fees. Voice calls are .20 per minute extra, but Texts and Data are included as part of your plan. They offer a unique Wi-Fi Calling app that enables you to make Voice calls through wi-fi in Mexico at the same rate as local calls in the US and would be included in your normal 'minutes'. Roaming works for both postpaid and prepaid customers but customers not on "Simple Choice" plans pay a much higher rate.
Get T-Mobile Phones @ Less Than Retail
Logo for TracFone TRACFONE:
TracFone does not offer roaming outside the US, but they have favorable long distance rates to and from Mexico (and Canada). With their "International Neighbors" plan you get a local number in Mexico or Canada that allows calls to be made back to a TracFone in the US, charged only as a Local call in those countries. The cost to the TracFone phone user is the same as any incoming call. Outgoing calls to these countries with a TracFone are Free through their International Long Distance (ILD) service, which involves calling a toll-free number, then entering your Mexico number (or to 60 other countries). Since your TracFone will not work in Mexico (or any other foreign country) this option would make a Mexico prepaid phone economical to call a TracFone in the US. NET10 prepaid phones offer the same services.
Verizon Wireless VERIZON WIRELESS:
Verizon uses the smaller Mexican CDMA network, which serves most larger cities and resorts. If your Verizon phone finds a signal, it will work. Also, since some newer Verizon phones include GSM circuitry, they also may roam on one of the better GSM networks. They offer Mexico Minutes Plans which allow 1,000 minutes of roaming in Mexico for about $15 more than regular plans. Data roaming charges are $.005/KB ($5.12/MB). Plans without free Mexico Roaming, incur a charge of .99 per minute for both incoming and outgoing calls within Mexico. Text Messaging in Mexico is .50 Sent, .20 Received. Both postpaid and prepaid Verizon phones work in Mexico at the same rates. Verizon offers a Global Data Roaming option. While it's not cheap it could prevent you from getting surprisingly high foreign data roaming charges. Verizon also offers "International" phones that you can buy or rent that will work on either CDMA or GSM networks.
Get Verizon Wireless Phones @ Less Than Retail
PREPAID PHONES
There are several prepaid phones that will work in Mexico, some are preferred over phones from the above Postpaid carriers.


MEXICO CELLULAR RECOMMENDATIONS
:
  • Our first recommendation is: Do Not Use Your US Phone to Access Data in Mexico.... Unless you know what will happen! Just a simple download like email or updating Facebook could cost you hundreds of dollars! The best option is to disable your data services and enable wi-fi access. There are alternatives, but not accessing data with your US phone without a special roaming plan.

  • The Easiest option for Talk & Text is to just pay roaming fees with your current carrier, although that would be substantial with Sprint. You would be surprised how efficiently you can communicate when you pay by the minute. As an alternative, Text rates can be quite reasonable. Your Roaming costs could be less than you think. Data charges could be extremely high so consider wi-fi for your data connection.

  • The Cheapest options:

    T-Mobile T-MOBILE's "Simple Choice" plans allow you to roam within Mexico (and 200 other countries) with no additional charges for Text and Data, and only .20/minute for Voice calls. T-Mobile Prepaid phones will also roam in Mexico but the per-minute rate is very high. T-Mobile's "Wi-Fi Calling" app allows voice calls made through Wi-Fi at no additional charges to any plans.
    AT&T Discounts AT&T GOPHONE Roaming rates in Mexico are .25/minute for Voice calls, Text is .20. If you Call Forward to a GoPhone from another phone you may be charged per minute for Call Forwarding from your forwarded line, but if you are a regular AT&T customer, those calls may be billed as Mobile to Mobile. Otherwise, if it's a problem, you can return a call from the US and be charged outgoing minutes only. GoPhone can be purchased online, sometimes for less than $20. Some phones include some Airtime Credit. The SIM that comes with an Airtime Credit will be locked to that phone for 4 months. When you purchase a plain SIM from AT&T you usually receive an initial $10 bonus with no handset limitations. An added benefit is that your GoPhone will work in the US keeping you from losing minutes you don't use in Mexico, and you'll need only one phone and SIM on your trip.
    WI-FI
    For Calls:
    Many Apps and online services can complete calls on wi-fi as if you were home. Prices can be very reasonable or free. Some services, like T-Mobile's Wi-Fi Calling complete your calls through wi-fi but deduct from your Prepaid plan minutes (but not from Simple Choice minutes).


    For Data:

    Data roaming charges in Mexico are surprisingly high, as much as 10 times higher...or more! You would be wise to disable cellular roaming and use whatever wi-fi networks you can find. T-Mobile phones and some phone apps can make calls through broadband as if they were made through the normal phone networks.

  • Also, consider carriers that offer Plans that include Mexico Roaming and Global Data Roaming. It may be at the same rate you are paying now, but beware, some Mexico plans do not include Text Messaging, Mobile to Mobile or Data within Mexico, so you may have extra charges.

  • Using a phone from a US carrier gives you the advantage of accessing US-based, English-speaking customer service. If you don't speak Spanish this can be a big deal.

  • If you travel to more than one country, visit INTERNATIONAL ROAMING.

    RELATED LINKS:
    Think before using ROAMING DATA!
    ROAMING FAQ
    HOW TO MAKE CALLS IN MEXICO
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