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Updated 2 months ago

Moving to a foreign country means that you’ll want to find a way to stay connected to friends and family back home. Mexico has several phone and internet providers that offer various services at competitive prices.

Cell phones

You basically have two options for contracting a cell phone service in Mexico. The first is to buy a package for a certain number of minutes each month and other features like internet access. You must sign a contract, usually for a year, and a phone is typically included. To sign up, you should visit the office of a cell phone provider, many of which are found in malls and city centres. Three of the most common in Mexico are Telcel, Movistar, and AT&T.

The second option is to buy a phone, sign up for a service, and pay as you go. You can get a basic phone for as little as 200 pesos ($12 USD) at a provider’s office or at the convenience store OXXO. To recharge your phone with airtime (calling credit), you can buy a recarga (“a recharge”), for small amounts like 20 pesos, or larger ones like 200 pesos. You can buy them at most supermarkets and convenience stores.

If you decide to bring your cell phone to Mexico, be sure to get it unlocked before you leave. Or, simply buy a new phone when you arrive.

International calls

Avoid using your pay-as-you-go phone to make international calls, as they will eat up the minutes quickly. If you choose the first option, a package, check the terms carefully to see how you will be charged for international calls. Or, a good option is to use Skype on your computer, which is free. Otherwise, if you have a data package, you may use apps such as Viber and WhatsApp.

Internet and landlines

Most internet packages for the home also include landlines, and with the landline, you may be allowed unlimited local and international calls. The major internet and landline providers are Telmex, Totalplay, and Megacable. Check their websites to compare prices and options.

You need to make an appointment for someone to come to your house and set up the service. Also, you will most likely need a bank account in Mexico, since the monthly cost of the service is usually charged automatically. 

Internet cafés and public Wi-Fi

Called cibers, “internet cafés” in Mexico usually are simply a room full of computers, often as part of a copy centre. Prices are low (10 pesos an hour on average) and you can also print, burn CDs, and buy stationery supplies.

Another option is to use public wifi, which is becoming more widespread in Mexico every day. Look for wifi in restaurants—both international chains like McDonald’s and Starbucks and also local places—and occasionally at public parks and government buildings.

 Important:

If you use cibers or public wifi, never access your bank account or other sensitive websites. Make sure you log out of your email account and don’t leave your USB or other devices behind.

 Useful links:

International calling codes
Telcel
Movistar
AT&T Mexico
Telmex
Totalplay
Megacable

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