It’s said that the biggest fear one has it that of public speaking. For me, my biggest fear is not having cellular service, and not being able to connect while on the go.

So, how does one connect while in Mexico

Some quick tips to staying connected while on the go in Mexico:
You can call from public phones using prepaid tel. cards, bought at magazine stalls. Cards can be purchased in MXN30, 50 or 100 denominations. The rate to call the US is roughly equivalent to USD0.50 per minute. Beware these are different than “tarjetas amigo”, “viva”, or “unefon”: they are for cellphones.

Some areas have only a few internet cafes; in others, they are plentiful. Common fees vary from MXN7/h to MXN20/h. Currently, most of the internet cafes offer calls to the US for a better rate than a payphone, usually via VoIP.

Mexico Telephone photo

Photo by Marcin Wichary

 

If you have an unlocked GSM phone, you can buy a prepaid SIM card in Mexico and have a local mobile phone number for use in cases of emergency. ROAMFREE Mobile provides free travel phones with good coverage throughout the country and you can get a SIM card for MXN150 with MXN100 talk time, look them up on the Internet before you leave. If you have an iPhone, you should purchase a package of data with ROAMFREE Mobile, as pay-as-you-go internet is extremely expensive. It is often far cheaper than what hotels will charge you and incoming calls may also be free under certain schemes. Mexico operates on the same GSM frequency as the United States, 1900Mhz.

Wireless Internet connections are available in almost every major restaurant, hotel, and shopping mall in the big cities. If you’re staying for over a week and don’t have a unlocked phone, it might be a good idea to buy a cheap (<MXN200) handset and buy a prepaid card. Here it would be advisable to not purchase a Telcel card (biggest company and usually cheaper cards) but from some other company who does not charge you roaming costs if you are not in the city you bought it.

If you have a US phone, both t-Mobile and AT&T now offers plans that include data plans for Mexico. I am with TMobile, and they have the LTE package included in the data plan. Check with your carrier before travelling.

Other tips on staying connected while in Mexico? Please add your comments and tips.