cell phone question

Discussion in 'Cancun Forum' started by Cancun crazy, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Cancun crazy

    Cancun crazy Newbie Registered Member

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    We are going to be looking to change our cell phone carrier from Alltell to something else. Does anyone have any luck with ther phone company while in Cancun? Cingular, verizon etc. Any help would be great. THANKS
     
  2. Klaw

    Klaw Guest

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    My Cingular (which is really AT& T now) works just fine.
     
  3. jgslumlord

    jgslumlord Guest

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    cell phone

    I also have Cingular and have great service in and around Cancun. I don't know how much other companies charge. with Cingular i call them a few weeks before i go and get international calling for Mexico which cost me $4.99 extra a month and the per minute charge is .59 cents. I think I'm required to keep the $4.99 extra cost on my bill for 2 months. even though i call Cingular when i return and tell them to take it off. You don't have to do the $4.99 thing but your per minute charge is higher and i find it cheaper for me to go this route. hope this helps you and you enjoy your trip.
     
  4. Walshlaw

    Walshlaw Guest

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    I have my service through Sprint. Before I leave for Mexico, I call and get the international roaming added to my service. My Treo works well when I arrive.

    The other option is to purchase a phone when you arrive. We bought one a few years ago. We add minutes while in Cancun for my kids to use, if necessary. There are plenty of locations that can accomodate the purchase of minutes

    I hope that is of assistance.
     
  5. johnc

    johnc Administrator Registered Member

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    Re: cell phone

    I would echo this, Cingular is now ATT and is the best way to go for seamless roaming in Mexico.

    Just be careful not to be confused by the terminology of plans they offer you

    International Calling is dialing out from US
    International Roaming is what you need when physically in Mexico

    International Roaming has no monthly charge but has to be activated at least 72 hrs before travel. Once activated it should remain activated but be sure to check if you change your rate plan, as it can sometimes get disabled.
    International Roaming costs $0.99/min whenever you are using air time in Mexico, including forwarding your incoming calls to you there.

    There is an add-on Feature to the plan called Discount International Roaming, which costs $4.99/month (Mexico & Canada) or $5.99/month (Worldwide) and gets you the above cost reduced to $0.49/min which is about as cheap per call as using a local prepaid card.

    Items in bold are as per the ATT website. Cingular.com is now redirected to
    www.wireless.att.com

    I have just updated the FAQ on the subject to include the above, I will also get more info on Texting and collate the various posts on Verizon and Sprint into same FAQ so all the info is in the one place.
     
  6. 212eric

    212eric Guest

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    I will back up all the posts before mine and say that AT&T/Cingular and Verizon work just fine in Cancun. I use T-mobile and while it works, I have chosen to purchase a chip from Telcel. So when I am in Cancun, I load my phone with minutes, pay as you go and it is great for local calls. The drawback is that I have no way of knowing and nobody can seem to tell me at Telcel how much per minute a call costs from Cancun to the US.

    212eric
     
  7. johnc

    johnc Administrator Registered Member

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    I just checked Telcel's website, which is quite vague and out of date as you are no longer charged for incoming minutes.
    You buy airtime nominally at 1 peso/minute, but get bonus minutes according to the amount you buy at any one time to top up.
    Long distance calls within Mexico are 4 pesos/min in addition to use of the airtime and I can't seem to find out what it costs to call US.

    With the $0.49 rate from Cingular I would not want to bother with using the Telcel for calling back to US. It is only handy for people to be able to call you at no cost to you, or for calls to and from friends around Cancun without having to dial US.

    The credit you buy from Telcel is only valid for 2 months. After that you can reactivate it with full credit by making another top up.
    i.e. if you leave with 200 pesos remaining, and come back to use it again between 2 and 6 months, you have to add, say 100 pesos to reactivate the line, resulting in 300pesos credit avaialble.
    If you dont use the account withing a 6 month period, they cancel it altogether, losing any credit. so its only worth having if you are a regular visitor, have friends and/or business there.
    The prepaid accounts don't roam, so you can't use it in US, but there is a list of places in US where you can make top ups to keep the account alive
    click here for details
     
  8. Naoautorizada

    Naoautorizada Addict Registered Member

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    Eric, John - Know any Spanish? I think I found it. There's a web page at:
    Telcel international prepaid
    which talks about the prices to use prepaid to call the US.

    My recollection is that it was not cheap, although I believe it says 11.5 pesos per minute above, which would be about $1USD and wouldn't be bad except that it also appears to read that you'll be charged in blocks of 20 minutes, which would confirm that it's not cheap.

    That being said, it appears that Mexico communication is coming into the 21st century. There's cell VOIP to the US from Mexico available from a Telcel distributor Mexitel which I believe are the same folks that I rented a phone from last year with completely reliable results (except I don't recall VOIP being offered at that time). Last year, I charged one of their phones with $40 and never ran out of minutes (in 10 days!). Given my positive experience with them in the past, the reasonable rental price - and now the rather cheap price of using VOIP through the cell for calls to the US and Europe - this is where I'll be getting my phones again for this year.
     
  9. johnc

    johnc Administrator Registered Member

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    This looks interesting, and is obviously something quite recent.I had to get a new sim card from them last November as I'd gone past the 6 months and the number had expired, and I never got this option then.

    Here's what I understand from this:

    1) You get the option to choose charge per call ("por llamada") free when you set up the account. Subsequent changes cost 20 pesos per change

    2) The cost is per 20min call, 5.75 pesos and 11.50 respectively. this is similar to how they ding you for the calling cards, it looks cheap on the surface, but dial a wrong number or get someones voicemail and you've paid for the entire 20 mins. If you go 1 second over the 20mins, you get charged again.

    You'll see in the "por Minuto" option, which i believe is default
    I have always got 900 minutes for a 500 peso recharge, which makes the effective cost of the minutes 0.55 pesos per minute.
    Prorated similarly, 11.50 pesos international rate would actually cost only 6.33 pesos per minute

    Now, how often do you pick up an unidentified call on your house or cell phone? I'll bet you almost never do because unless you have family overseas, 99.99% of the time it will be telemarketers.

    So in the absence of Caller ID, which very rarely works to/from Mexico, I would not expect your calls from Mexico back to US to be answered first time.
    If you decide to go for this option, then it would be a good tip to warn people who you will be calling to look for "anonymous"/"Out of Area"/"private" calls at a specific time of day so they know its you. otherwise the house will bank your 11.50!
     
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