There’s been an influx of businesses and digital nomads moving through Mexico in the past few years. International companies like Samsung and Amazon have been investing millions in expanding their operations here.
However, the internet connection can fall short, making it necessary for newcomers to do their research in how to get the best phone plans and coverage in Mexico. Keep reading for information on phone services, data plans, and more.
How to Get Started
To get the best possible phone plans and coverage in Mexico, you must get a local cell phone service like Telcel and purchase their SIM card but many of us require 2 step authentication tied to US phone number for viewing and moving our around cash in US banks. There are a couple methods for handling your hybrid lifestyle, the approaches are:
- Traditional Two Phones
- Those who have a spare cell phone around that you can pop in a Mexican based SIM card into could easily consider this option. Note: You can’t proceed with the Mexican phone number setup unless that phone is “unlocked”. You must call the provider the cell phone was last associated with and have their phone “unlock” it from their network or simply purchase a cheap phone through one of the local Mexican cell phone providers.
- Consolidate Phones
- Go to the states and request your provider virtualize your US phone provider SIM card. Return to Mexico and pop in your Telmex SIM card. Read the iPhone dual SIM card post for more setup and configuration.
Where do I get the Telcel SIM card to get phone plans and coverage in Mexico?
For some of blessed who are living inside or along the US and MX border, walk into the local Telcel store. You must otherwise purchase the SIM Card through Amazon.
Mexican AT&T side conversation
I never thought I said go with AT&T because of the customer service but it’s true. Go to AT&T and port your Telcel phone number at the Mexican AT&T store. Plus, you will establish a Mexican history with your newfound Mexican AT&T phone plan. It comes with complimentary streaming services for $20mo. The data plans should not matter if you use AT&T US as your primary in a dual sim card scenario.
How do I refill my Telcel data plan?
I also know that I could send SMS texts to auto-refill because they placed my card on file. This Telcel blog post discusses this feature in more detail. Personally, I don’t want to work through text commands. I would rather be using the Telcel app, but then again, the app is terrible as is my Spanish.
For the people challenged by their secondary language, walk into a Telcel location and refill there. Note: The SIM is deactivated if not refilled within approximately three to six months after depletion.
Technically, Telcel does not have plans but you do this option below for refill through the MiTelcel website.
Refill Credit through MiTelcel
There are optimized options to refilling credit once you establish a functioning Mexican phone number that is capable of receiving SMS messages. To optimize your phone plans and coverage in Mexico, submit your phone number through the website and receive a 2-step code for registering and therefore refilling credit on the site.
Telcel SIM Card Website Purchase
Note: I’ve never purchased through this site. Make sure you receive a phone number to use with your new SIM Card.
My phone is unlocked and has the Telcel SIM Card
Make sure the Telcel SIM card is inserted into the phone you are using for Mexico cell service, then download the Mi Telcel app.
I believe that, in order to get the best phone plans and coverage in Mexico, you must physically be in Mexico. This Telcel blog post discusses this feature more in detail.
Get Better Phone Plans and Coverage in Mexico Summary
Having good internet service and cell coverage and make or break your daily routine, especially if you’re one of the many businesses or digital nomads that has made their way to Mexico. In this article, we covered your options for getting on the local service and how to navigate their system.