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Thread: Cell phones in Mexico

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    Cell phones in Mexico

    I want to buy my mother-in-law a cell phone that she can use in Mexico and also call us in the USA with. She lives in southern Mexico (Tabasco). I'm wondering if a phone purchased in the States will operate in Mexico without having a contract? Do pay as you go phones work in Mexico? Is it a better plan to simply wire her money to buy a phone from a local Mexican outfit?
    Any thoughts?

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    hmm i know with movistar you can use a phone from the US as long as it has a chip on it, they remove the one it comes with and put one in from that service provider. its not costy either, i think its about 100 pesos or so for the chip (its more like a mini sd card).
    this is a prepaid so she will put money and she can call the US. for every 15 min its about 10 pesos or so, not too sure but its not bad at all. then ofcourse the rates for national calls. no money used if she gets incoming called either.
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    Phones are definitely better-priced in the US (get one from a Power Seller on Ebay!). But they have to be unlocked. Phones straight from a wireless service retail outlet in the US will only work with that service provider's service. In Mexico, most people use the prepaid. I took an unlocked Tmobile phone from the US and used that in Mexico with a Telcel SIM card. My husband uses an unlocked phone there as well. It's really the best way to go in my opinion!
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    So we need to use a phone with a removable sim card? OK, I know I have a couple of T-mobile phones from a couple of years ago I can use or I can simply go to a retail store and buy another T-mobile phone that uses a sim card and send that to my mother-in-law. My only concern is the trustworthiness of the Mexican postal system. I hear packages sometimes never get to their destination.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wisebeard1 View Post
    So we need to use a phone with a removable sim card? OK, I know I have a couple of T-mobile phones from a couple of years ago I can use or I can simply go to a retail store and buy another T-mobile phone that uses a sim card and send that to my mother-in-law. My only concern is the trustworthiness of the Mexican postal system. I hear packages sometimes never get to their destination.
    You have to make sure they are unlocked though. You can usually buy unlocked phones through ebay, craigslist, or if you have a couple from t-mobile you can call t-mobile and see if they will give you the unlock codes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wisebeard1 View Post
    So we need to use a phone with a removable sim card? OK, I know I have a couple of T-mobile phones from a couple of years ago I can use or I can simply go to a retail store and buy another T-mobile phone that uses a sim card and send that to my mother-in-law. My only concern is the trustworthiness of the Mexican postal system. I hear packages sometimes never get to their destination.
    I have sent many packages over the years from the US to Mexico, including cell phones and they have always made it. Not sure if it's luck or not, but I have had good experiences sending packages through the regular USPS mail to Mexico.
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    Like Carlosalica said, a regular Tmobile phone won't work in MX until it's unlocked. If you already have a phone you're sending, it's possible your inlaws can get it unlocked there in Mexico. My husband unlocked his AT&T phone there when he first arrived in Mexico. But to play it safe and avoid hassle, it's probably easier if you do it. Sometimes those places that sell multiple providers' cell service (like Verizon, Tmobile, AT&T etc) will do it.
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    We just use a Telcel amigo kit phone that has a plan for calling the states. I think the phone it came with was free. It costs 6 pesos for 15 minutes to the states, and you just keep recharging the balance (tiempo aire). I hear that Movistar has a plan for 30 minutes for 6-10 pesos. That's where I am going next I would say have your MIL go to a Telcel or Movistar office (Centro de Atencion) and ask what the options are- I think it would be much cheaper than sending, etc.
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