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iPhone or equivilent in Mexico?
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jserio



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:10 pm    Post subject: iPhone or equivilent in Mexico? Reply with quote

I searched the Mexico forum and couldn't find an answer. Do they use GSM phones there with a sim card? Would I be able to just buy a sim card and put money on it or do I have buy a new phone? Do they have mobile internet there? Any recommendations on good/reliable carriers in DF?
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9399
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iphones and smartphones here can take American/Canadian chips...there are some issues with newer locked phones, like the iphone4 where they cannot be unlocked in Mexico, or not easily or cheaply. If you bring one down and want to put a Mexican chip in, make sure it's already unlocked or you'll have an expensive brick.

I use Telcel for mobile but there are others. Rates are higher here than in the US though it depends how you use it. 3G is everywhere in Mexico City and most of the rest of the country I believe.
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jserio



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info. My phone is unlocked though I may just bring a newer unlocked Android phone. I just want to make sure I can buy a sim and pop it in. Rates higher than in the US?? Ouch! I miss the pay-per use rates found in Europe. Contracts in the US are a rip-off.
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9399
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use Telcel amigo, which is pay as you go. I only recently started using data, buying a 2GB package for 30 days, at 399 pesos. I didn't even use a tenth of that, so next time I'll get the 500MB package, which is around 200 pesos I think.

Text messages are just under a peso each and calls are something like a peso a minute.
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FreddyM



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 178
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
I use Telcel amigo, which is pay as you go. I only recently started using data, buying a 2GB package for 30 days, at 399 pesos. I didn't even use a tenth of that, so next time I'll get the 500MB package, which is around 200 pesos I think.

Text messages are just under a peso each and calls are something like a peso a minute.


How reliable is the service for you Guy? I'm doing the same with Telcel, except I'm using the free megabytes they include when I recharge my minutes with an Amigo card. Unfortunately, I've found the data service hugely disappointing. 90% of the time I want to use it when I am out and about, it's either too slow or doesn't work at all. Glad I didn't spring for any packages that would have cost more.
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jserio



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of Internet, is the residential internet service good in Mexico City? I'm assuming it's DSL? Is there a bandwidth cap? I'd probably want to download or watch some of my favorite TV shows. Smile
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9399
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mine seems to work fine...it's not terribly fast but when I'm out, I just pick up facebook and some chat apps, or check the weather.

I use Telmex for residential. I has a 6 MB DSL wireless router, with no bandwidth cap Ive ever seen (and I donwload a lot of movies and and shows). I pay 299 a month for the service but you must have a residential phone line with Telmex to get it.

There's also cable internet, and a few fibre optic providers.
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy Courchesne wrote:
Iphones and smartphones here can take American/Canadian chips...there are some issues with newer locked phones, like the iphone4 where they cannot be unlocked in Mexico, or not easily or cheaply. If you bring one down and want to put a Mexican chip in, make sure it's already unlocked or you'll have an expensive brick.

I use Telcel for mobile but there are others. Rates are higher here than in the US though it depends how you use it. 3G is everywhere in Mexico City and most of the rest of the country I believe.


I am not sure I entirely agree with this. If you go strictly by charges per minute, that is true. However, if you wait till there is a promotion you can get double what you put on it, and that brings it in line with US rates. With TelCel this only happens once or twice a month, so you have to plan carefully, and make sure you put enough credit on your phone to last till the next promotion. MoviStar, the other major company, has promotions much more often. I have one of each, and overall I think TelCel is superior, better coverage and better customer service. Two other things to note. With TelCel your promotional credit is good for 2 months, but with MoviStar is can be as little as 2 or 3 weeks, and you have to use your paid credit first before using your promotional credit. Also, unlike in the US, you only pay for you calls you make, not calls you receive. Text messages are 1 peso, which is less than the US. And, with an Android phone, you can install Gtalk or another messenger, and use your wireless internet at home, or wherever you happen to be. I have a Samsung Galaxy, and it works fine, but I bought it here. My husband has a ZTE Android phone, which I actually like better than mine, and it works great too. As Guy said, the latest model phones can be difficult to have unlocked, and even if it is unlocked in the US, it might not work here. I bought an unlocked Blackberry in the US and it didn't work here. As for internet, I have mine through the phone company, and it has been very reliable and relatively faster. Over the last 2 or 3 years it has gotten faster, with no rate increase. I watch a lot of movies via Netflix and have never gone over the cap, if there is one, so I don't think that is something you need to worry about. As Guy mentioned, you have to have a home phone to get TelMex internet, but I think it is the best, most reliable option. I rarely even use my home phone, but it is nice having a number I can give to people I don't really want to hear from. I have not heard good things about Cablevision's internet, this was from a variety of people. I have noticed, however, somedays at lunchtime my internet is a little slower, I assume this is due to high usage at that time, but it could just be a fluke.
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jserio



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Android phone is completely unlocked (I bought it oversees) so that won't be a problem. But it's my #1 internet device (typing this message on it now) so - for me - the data will be more important than the phone calls. Do you need to jump through hoops to get a sim from Telecel or is it straightforward?

As for DSL, how much is the full package - including phone line?
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FreddyM



Joined: 05 Jan 2006
Posts: 178
Location: Mexico

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have Cablevision for Internet, and now also TV channels, including high def. I recently ugraded my service, costing me about $750 a month now, but for that I get over 240 channels and a DVR, and internet speed of 12mb (although, usually it actually reaches closer to 20mb).
Cablevision has different packages that are more affordable, including phone service. But I'm pretty happy with it. And I do heavy downloading, pretty much any movie or tv series I want, there seems to be no bandwidth limit. There are also virtual private network services you can contract to get around other limitations. I use one which allows me to access Hulu and the BBC and restricted YouTube videos....it makes it look as if my IP is coming from the USA, UK, or almost any other country.

My phone service with Telcel is what really sucks.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1126
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if this option exsists in Mexico City or not, but we get internet via antena from an Internet Cafe. (Neither telmex nor cablevision have lines out to our development). We pay 230 pesos a month. The draw back is the speed varies, we run Ubuntu and have a program that shows the download spead on the main menu bar. It can be as fast as 40mb at like 3am. Usually is near 20mb but can at time drop into the 0-5 range! It can be frustrating at time, and for that reason, I don't ever try to skype, we are in the same time zone as my parents so it's not like I'm going to call them at 3am. But we don't ever watch TV anymore, we just download shows over night and watch them when we want.

I have a Telcel cell phone service and there is some issue with some phones working differently with them. Here on campus, 5 people can stand together and take out their 5 different phones, all running on Telcel Amigo and one person might have 4 bars, another might have 2 or 3, another 1 and at least two in the group will say No Service. When they finally turned off their digital transmition and I had to get a new phone which took a SIM in April and walked into the dealer and said of the cheap phones I want the one that has the best reception, the name new exactly which one to hand me--a Nokia.
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jserio



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having trouble with my Telcel sim. A fellow ESLer (thanks Dan) helped me but a sim card. It was $150 mex but included $90 mex credit. I bought it Wednesday night and have made only two local phone calls and sent 10 sms. Data has been disabled on my phone since arriving in Mexico so I was not using any Internet data. Today I tried to make a call and it did not go through. Same for SMS. A sms to *133# says I have no balance.

What's going on? Last night I remember checking and the balance was $88. Did I get screwed? I hate to put $500 on it to but data if it will vanish so quickly. I tried calling Telcel but they have no English speaking representatives. Help Sad
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Guy Courchesne



Joined: 10 Mar 2003
Posts: 9399
Location: Mexico City

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Were they particularly long local calls that drained the balance? Could also be the time limit ran out for using the credit if it had been sitting around awhile.

Try dialing into *333 to check your balance via voice instead of sms.
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jserio



Joined: 15 Jul 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guy,

Thanks for the quick reply. The calls were only 2 minutes each (I was calling to see a room). And the sms were local numbers. The sim is only 3 days old. When I bought it in checked the balance in front of the merchant and it was $90 so I know it was full. I called *333 but I don't understand the menus Sad perhaps I should go back to the merchant?

Jim
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BadBeagleBad



Joined: 23 Aug 2010
Posts: 833

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2012 1:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing is, though, it doesn't depend on how old the SIM is, but how long ago the credit was added. Credit is only good for 60 days, usually, so it could have been about to expire when you bought it.
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