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 Moderated by: bartmanaz  
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caroleshedd
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Help! Last visit in San Carlos discovered my TracFone would NOT work in San Carlos or anywhere in Mexico for that matter. I switched over to Cricket as they "guaranteed" I would have coverage in "Mexico" but now I am hearing differently.  Can anyone give me a service that really works in San Carlos?  

nice guy
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Telcel - a new SIM card is cheap - and free calls to Can and US

caroleshedd
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so you wait until you get into mexico and then buy a telcal sim card? or do you have to buy a phone from them? I have found by research that using a different sim does not mean the carrier is the same for the phone.  at any rate, thank you for the info. I will check it out!

nice guy
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You need an unlocked phone. That is - a phone not locked to any specific carrier. I looked up Tracfone and web says - TracFone SIMs are programmed to recognize only TracFone phones. ... After activation, the phone won't accept any other SIM card, and the SIM card won't work in any other phone. The issue isn't simply between TracFone and AT&T. The real issue is that TracFone phones can only accept TracFone SIM cards.  Telcel offers a cheap non-smart phone for about us$35 that visitors can buy with a SIM and some minutes and add minutes with pay as you go no-contract.

Last edited on Thu Jan 10th, 2019 01:18 pm by nice guy

caroleshedd
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do you buy a telcal phone and then the sim card? looked at this last night and various sims at different prices  you could buy.  Wondering if you would be able to tell from the get go which phone would be compatible?

El Suizo
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I have AT&T north of the border and it works perfect down in Mexico not just San Carlos and Guaymas. 

MARIGOT
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When I bought my cheapest-of-the-line TelCel phone, the guy at the counter put the SIM card in the phone as part of the set up.  Works fine, have had it 9 years.  After the initial pesos in the phone have been used, go to any OXXO to buy more and have them loaded in the phone.  Or buy the scratch off card and load the pesos when convenient for you.  They have an expiration date, so the timing can be important.
Because the pesos have an expiration date, based on when loaded into the phone, don’t load up more than you can use.
When you go to the TelCel office in Guaymas, ask the person at the door for an English speaking sales person if you need English.  Several of the young sales people speak English very well.
Good luck and have fun!

Hook
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FWIW, Verizon phones also work very well down here. Didnt use to be so, only a few years ago, especially on the highway coming down. But now I find I am occasionally on the Telcel network and occasionally on the Movistar network, and am never without service. I bought an unlocked international Samsung 7s that apparently works on CDMA and GSM towers. I can select either one or leave it on "Global" and it finds any and all networks and lets me choose. Or it will choose automatically, if I want it to.

I am on a month-to-month, 55 and older, Verizon plan with unlimited text and voice in Mex, Canada and the US. Data is 500mb/day. Two lines for 80.00 US. I think it is a form of Verizon Unlimited.

ballenamar
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I have had great service and coverage with my TelCel unlimited plan for about $us20 per month with coverage in Mexico, USA, and Canada. In the USA, TelCel uses ATT and other networks to give excellent coverage. I am very happy with TelCel !!!!!

caroleshedd
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thanks all!! wondering if I could get a Telcel online prior to departing us for mex? sim cards are plentiful. going to do some more research on this. would love to get set up BEFORE we travel this time.

nice guy
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Easiest way is to go to the Gym main Telcel next to Tufesa with passport, tourist visa, your address, hotel?, and some pesos.

caroleshedd
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thank you! so much for all of the information.  I am going to contact telcal US tomorrow to see if I can get a phone set up prior to leaving NEXT fall for San Carlos.  I was hoping to keep  my US phone number for just one carrier, don't know if that is a realistic possibility but attempting to do so.

caroleshedd
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correction Telcel

caroleshedd
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Telcel US is the official TracFone contract. I'm just going to order sim card for Telcel/Intl, activate when we cross the border with one of my unlocked phones. Any type of phone work better over the other?? Thanks again .

rdsailing
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Also traveling with my boat to San Carlos.  I use T-Mobile which works great for me in Canada, anyone using it in San Carlos?


Also interested in what data costs are for Telcel per GB.


Any and all help is appreciated.

nice guy
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There's 6-7 ?? pay as you go "rates" - see

https://www.telcel.com/personas/telefonia/amigo/tarifas-y-opciones-end/amigo-sin-limite

Last edited on Fri Feb 1st, 2019 07:38 pm by nice guy

rdsailing
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I found this which seems very reasonable https://us.telcel.com/secure/ServicePlans

nice guy
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If you're going to be on a boat in the Sea, you might not use much, as there's no service in 95% of the coast.

JZ
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Lots of bad information ITT. Telcel is really only a good option if you are in MX for long periods of time. No one can call you on your US number. They have to call you on your MX Telcel number.  Plus you have to fumble around with SIM cards and dealing with Telcel. If you live in MX, sure, if you are visiting, no.

AT&T is the best for MX. You get free calls, text, and data for all of North America. Same with T-Mobile, but AT&T has a little better service (AT&T bought 2 MX carriers in the last 2-3 years). Both roam over to the Telcell network (for free) when not using their own networks. My 3 kids use their iPhones in MX just like they are in the US.

Cricket is owned by AT&T. You can get plans that give you free roaming to MX. If anything, just turn it on for a month or so: https://www.cricketwireless.com/support/international-calling/coverage-in-mexico-and-canada.html

Verizon has historically been the worst US carrier for international roaming, but they have slowly gotten better.

Last edited on Mon Feb 4th, 2019 12:23 am by JZ

Bullshipper
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I have no problems with Verizon

will rogers
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Four years ago when I switched to Telcel Verizon worked in SC but not on the highway from Nogales.

Bullshipper
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The mountains in both places affect coverage

Jimmy
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AT&T is seamless in Mexico and between US and Mexico and all the way down HWY 15...Others kinda work but AT&T Does Work perfectly, it is the Best, it works everywhere there is cell coverage. If you want the best seamless and widest coverage use it. Or you can waste your time and $$ experimenting. Been that way for 20+ years. Before the other carriers ever came along.  There are some technical reasons why but I am not a tech and can not explain. 

Last edited on Mon Feb 4th, 2019 07:38 pm by Jimmy

chucklesg
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You can get a Telcel Sim from Amazon.

Jimmy
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When I want a telcel to use when I am in Mexico I buy a throw away from OXXO. Sometimes I used call forwarding on my US AT&T to my throw away telcel. Usually, now a days when I am in SC I just use my US AT&T for all my calls, local Mexico calls and US... When I return to Arizona I give the telcel away to some friend who needs it.

Last edited on Mon Feb 4th, 2019 07:48 pm by Jimmy

dolphin007
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Bullshipper, I had Verizon for years. Yes they were good, but I was charged soooooo much more fro using my phone from Mexico back to the USA.
I finally swithched to the ALL OF NORTH AMERICA PLAN
with ATnT.
Issues resolved. Been good for years now. Little more expensive, but well worth the LACK OF CONSTANT FRUSTRATION! LOL!!! ( Im all about saving a buck!) I guess we cant hav it all for nothing. We already live here dirt cheap!

JZ
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will rogers wrote: Four years ago when I switched to Telcel Verizon worked in SC but not on the highway from Nogales.Going back 10 years we were able to stream TV shows onto a laptop using AT&T all the way from SC to Nogales.


Verizon has been crappy for international travel for 20 years.



JZ
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Jimmy wrote: AT&T is seamless in Mexico and between US and Mexico and all the way down HWY 15...Others kinda work but AT&T Does Work perfectly, it is the Best, it works everywhere there is cell coverage. If you want the best seamless and widest coverage use it. Or you can waste your time and $$ experimenting. Been that way for 20+ years. Before the other carriers ever came along.  There are some technical reasons why but I am not a tech and can not explain. The technical reason is that AT&T uses the same technology as Telcel and has roaming agreements with them.

Verizon and Sprint choose (poorly) to go with a competing technology.

Fast forward and Version has switched technologies, but in the mean time AT&T has bought carriers in MX.

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2019 12:20 am by JZ

rdsailing
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So much good info here, much appreciated.  I am mainly concerned with data, and need about 10-20GB per month.  Normally just use my hotspot on my T-Mobile phone.  


Problem is if you use too much data overseas, they can cut you off.  We also spend a few months sailing in BC during the summer.  


One last question, any idea what the coverage is like out at anchor



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Last edited on Mon Feb 4th, 2019 09:29 pm by rdsailing

Bullshipper
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Verizon works offshore untill i go as far as the island, where telcel also turns off

mp3cdr
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T-mobile works great in San Carlos and Guaymas. Get the Senoir plan (55+).... Unlimited in Canada, US and Mexico.

AlS
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The cell business has changed greatly in the last few years. Huge investments in infrastructure. New frequency bands in the USA and Canada. LTE roll out even to small markets in all three countries of North America.

TelCel has been the the best coverage in Mexico by quite a bit. MoviStar used to be a distant second. The others were distant third.

AT&T created AT&T Mexico and bought the distant third tier providers. Then AT&T Mexico invested hugely in infrastructure. Now AT&T Mexico is about par with TelCel. AT&T Mexico data network is less congested than TelCel's in many busy areas.

T-Mobile USA has sharing agreements with TelCel now. It used to have sharing agreement with MoviStar a few years ago. AT&T USA has a sharing agreement with AT&T Mexico - it used to be with TelCel before AT&T Mexico. So AT&T USA and T-Mobile effectively swapped sharing agreements in Mexico.

Verizon's sharing agreement is with MoviStar.

Jimmy
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So, just like I said, AT&T is the best NOB carrier for Mexico....And has been for a long time. If you want the Best get it. But, please stop recommending inferior carriers just because You use them!  

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2019 03:08 pm by Jimmy

odwyerpw
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Cricket, which is owned by AT&T, is a good inexpensive alternative that works very well here in Mexico. Cricket removed it's restrictions for the % of useage in Mexico. It works in Canada, USA and Mexico. Of course my TelCel also works in Canada, USA and Mexico.

I keep a Dual-Sim Phone, so I have my Telcel and my Cricket Sims in it, so both numbers always work. I'll occasionally swap chip positions because the Sim1 position supports LTE and the Sim2 position doesn't.

Anyway, keeps me in touch with both Mexican and US phone numbers whether I am in Mexico or the USA.


The key to success of a dual sim phone is the way you record your phone numbers in your Contacts Manager.


For Example: a Guaymas number would be stored as +52 1 622 226 1234
a Tucson number would be stored as +1 520 389 1234.


That makes sure that text messages and phone calls always go through regardless of which sim (phone number) you dial from.

Last edited on Tue Feb 5th, 2019 05:35 pm by odwyerpw

JZ
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AlS wrote: The cell business has changed greatly in the last few years. Huge investments in infrastructure. New frequency bands in the USA and Canada. LTE roll out even to small markets in all three countries of North America.

TelCel has been the the best coverage in Mexico by quite a bit. MoviStar used to be a distant second. The others were distant third.

AT&T created AT&T Mexico and bought the distant third tier providers. Then AT&T Mexico invested hugely in infrastructure. Now AT&T Mexico is about par with TelCel. AT&T Mexico data network is less congested than TelCel's in many busy areas.

T-Mobile USA has sharing agreements with TelCel now. It used to have sharing agreement with MoviStar a few years ago. AT&T USA has a sharing agreement with AT&T Mexico - it used to be with TelCel before AT&T Mexico. So AT&T USA and T-Mobile effectively swapped sharing agreements in Mexico.

 
Not so fast my friend.  AT&T for years and years used Telcel and Movistar networks as roaming partners.  Service switched over depending on which one had the best coverage in a particular area.  So, AT&T was #1, as they gave you the best of both MX carriers.

After the acquisitions in the last 3-4 years (of the 3rd tier networks), there was a good year or so where AT&T's coverage went down and wasn't as good as it use to be.  I had so, so service even in the Bahia and Hwy 15 was spotty.

That has been fixed now.  Btw, AT&T still has roaming agreements with Telcel.

Last edited on Wed Feb 6th, 2019 02:05 am by JZ



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