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Your Official Guide to Using Wireless in Mexico:
There are 3 primary cellular carriers in Mexico.  Your US wireless phone will roam on one or more of these networks.  You can also purchase phones, SIM's and service directly from these carriers for use in Mexico. There is also a "Shared" 4G wireless network in several isolated areas of the country.

AT&T Discounts
is the newest Mexican carrier after their acquisition of 2 Mexico carriers, Iusacell and Nextel of Mexico. AT&T has combined these networks and offers a competitive product for both Mexican and US customers. They are upgrading both networks to 4G LTE. Mexico AT&T customers will have both roaming and calling benefits across the border, to and from the US, Mexico and Canada.  Expect significant competition and benefits for Mexican customers. While AT&T's own network is under construction, a US AT&T phone will roam on another network if an AT&T signal is unavailable. AT&T Mexico customers can call all customers of AT&T, Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon and Cricket in Mexico, Canada and the US without additional charges.

offers prepaid options and their GSM network is currently the second best in Mexico, although we have few reports of 4G availability. You can buy a Movistar SIM-only and use your own unlocked GSM phone. 
Movistar retailers are hard to find, but refills are available at most convenience stores through the store's computer. Movistar offers competitive plans which include Calls & Text to and from the US and Canada. We have never been able to access any English-speaking assistance at Movistar, either on cellular, or at their national toll-free number. Calls to 611, and to check your balance, involve a charge.

currently offers the best coverage in the country. Telcel sells a prepaid package, "Amigo", that includes phone, SIM ("chip") and a prepaid card. Some retailers offer just the SIM, some of which have minutes already loaded on them, which can be inserted into your own unlocked GSM phone. Some retailers charge an extra fee to help you get set could be worth it. If your phone is not unlocked, your GSM carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile and others) may provide you with your unlock code. If not, or if you don't subscribe to those networks, you can buy almost any unlocked GSM phone just for use in Mexico.

Telcel advertises themselves as "4G LTE" but we have not found 4G coverage widely available.  We do see 4G expansion across the country.  To compete against the new AT&T plans, Telcel now offers roaming and calling to both the US and Mexico without extra charges. Most incoming calls are free.

Also, our TelCel refills don't "roll over". Add a new prepaid card and you lose some or all of your previous minutes. TelCel refills are available at many retail outlets. A few still sell the refill cards, but most now take your number and enter your purchase in the computer, which is immediately credited to your phone.

Telcel is owned by America Movil and offers wireless service in the US under the name "Telcel America", using the T-Mobile network.

These carriers sell cellular services that use the network of one of the major carriers, above.
  • CIERTO: Uses the Movistar Network

  • MAZ TIEMPO: Uses the Movistar Network

  • QBOcel: Uses the Movistar Network

  • UNEFON: Uses the AT&T Mexico Network

  • VIRGIN MOBILE: Uses the Movistar Network

    The Red Compartida (The "Shared Network") was built by the Mexican government with 3 objectives:
    ► To be used by any of the Mexico Wireless carriers,
    To provide wireless coverage in "unserved" areas of the country.
    To provide fast, 4G-LTE service where it may be otherwise unavailable.
    So far, we have received no reports any Mexican or US carriers roaming on this network.

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