Regular and cell phones in Mexico

Old Feb 6th, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Regular and cell phones in Mexico

I hope somebody will be kind and patient enough to advise an electronically challenged person on how to stay in touch with the family in the US.

I will be in Mexico on a tour of Copper Canyons in April.

Is it possible to buy a phone card in Mexico and use public phones, are they available?

Calling from hotels must be too expensive, right?

As for the cell phone... I have T-mobile pre-paid, is there something I can do to use it in Mexico, like buy a chip or something?
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Old Feb 6th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Public pay phones are common in Mexico. You buy electronic cards from stores. I had one from a few years ago and brought it down with me and it still worked.

I suspect if you do a search you can find people who have talked about the cell phone issue.
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 11:41 AM
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If anybody will be doing a search on cell phones in Mexico - I have a pre-paid T-Mobile. NOPE. Only if you are on a monthly plan, they don't want pre-paid to be used in Mexico.

I guess, I'll get a phone card.
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 03:11 PM
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Hi Faina,

I just got back from Mexico, was in the southern part . . . but telephone places were every few feet and were 2 pesos/minute to call the US, that's about 18. Or, you can buy a phone card, they were everywhere and cheap also.

If you have an unlocked phone, we saw a bunch of places to buy sims cards or you could buy the whole phone w/sims fairly cheap. It was easy for us not to have to mess with it and just pay 2 pesos/minute.

Buena suerte,
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Mar 30th, 2007, 03:33 PM
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Sandy: welcome home!!!
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Old Mar 31st, 2007, 09:16 AM
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Buy Ladatel cards just about anywhere, stick them in a pay phone, dial 001, area code and number and you are talking to the u.s. Digital display on phone tells you how much time you have to talk. Also, there are businesses that offer calls to the u.s. you go into the phone "cabinas" and either dial or, sometimes they dial for you, and you pay when you leave. Check the rate first, sometimes they can be a bargain, other times not.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Thanks, Dude, good to know!
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 12:22 PM
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Well, it says clearly on T-Mobile website: pre-paid phones cannot be used in Mexico.

NOT TRUE!!

You know, it's my nasty personality, I never believe anything nor anybody I called the customer service, after being on hold for a while, the phone guy confirmed my cell may work in Mexico, depends on the area's reception, just dial the international code and the charge is 50c a minute (not $1.49 on the website).

So, most likely, I will use a combo of a card and cell phone - whatever is more convenient.

Maybe by the next vacation I'll teach Mr Again to use e-mail (mission impossible )
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 12:32 PM
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My t-mobile phone (regular monthly plan) works fine in Mexico and the Caribbean. I had to have them "flip the switch" but that was all - and I pay the increased cost when I use it
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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What do you mean "flip the switch", the guy told me all I need is to dial...
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 05:35 AM
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Depending on which phone you have ( the newer ones are pre-programmed with all bands. At least my Razor is) you don't have to do anything. I have T-mobile and with my older phone had to change the "band" depending on where i went ( Mexico, Italy) Just call your provider and they can give you directions on how to change. Basically you just go into "settings" and follow prompts. I would talk to more than one rep to be sure I got the same info. unless you want to be like me and be stranded and not be able to use your phone! i was told the wrong procedure and couldn't use the phone because I did everything BUT change the band.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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OUCH! I got my phone in October, just about 6 month ago, so I hope it's the new type not needing anything.

Oh, well, I'm willing to risk it, as my husband will have a list of hotels and phones and will call me in case of emergency. He also has the Caravan tours' main office phone. They can contact the tour guide or the hotel - in case only Spanish is spoken there.

I can buy a phone card, this is what I've done in all countries so far, and there may be Internet connection - I can send an e-mail to children asking them to contact dad.

Besides, for just 7 days it would be nice to have a cell phone working, but not really needed. I will come back with a report
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Absolutely DO NOT believe the customer service guy who told you its only $ .50 to call from Mexico on your cell phone. It isn't true. We just spent a month in Mexico and my husband used his cell phone for business calls. With an International plan that we added to our phone PRIOR to departing the States, he was able to phone for $ .50 per minute. The cost of the plan was $5.00 per month on top of the calls. You will also need to have a Quad-band phone to be certain that it will work from most locations. A Tri-band phone MAY work, but not guaranteed. We were able to send text messages (if your phone has this capability) for only a few cents each. Its an easy and less expensive way to stay in touch, but you still need to set this all up in advance. Otherwise, I would look for Internet cafes along the way. They often offer phone service to the States for a reasonable price.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 10:25 AM
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Bands, flips... my head is spinning already I guess it's much easier for me to use the old dependable phone card which I'll buy as soon as I can, maybe in Juarez.
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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FainaAgain,
More than likely your phone is the quad - band since you bought it recently. Just call your carrier and ask. I bought mine in Dec. but I was specific about what I wanted since we go to Mexico and Europe yearly. It's easy to find out---just ask
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 08:04 AM
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I called and asked. The guy even put me on hold to confirm my phone will work in Mexico. And than TC said: don't believe that guy.

So, I guess, I'll take the cell with me - at least I can call from Texas, part of the tour, and in Mexico, if the cell is not working, I'll use a phone card.
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Old Apr 26th, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Update: my pre-paid T-mobile worked in Mexico: Creel, El Fuerte, Chihuahua. Didn't work in Barrancas in the canyons area.

Don't know how much they charge, I forgot to check how much money I had before leaving on this tour, but it looks the 800 guy was right, 50 cents a minute.

And the connection was perfect!
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