Friday, June 20, 2008

Where Roaming Charges are a Good Thing

After all the surprises and disappointments while roaming in Mexico, we have adjusted our Mountain Wireless Mexico Roaming Page to reflect our experiences and our now more conservative recommendations. Judging by how many Americans sitting near me at the pool in Mexico freely use their US phones, I believe the exorbitant roaming charges either aren’t that big a deal, or they don’t know what’s about to hit them when they get their bill. I know a few young users don’t care.

So if we tell you to just go ahead and use your US phone in Mexico, even at $1 a minute, it really is the most efficient way to go. And considering the barriers the Mexican carriers throw at us, it usually ends up as the cheapest.

I also saw a few smart users using a good amount of text messages which are very inexpensive, and there were a number of guests just using data. I feel fortunate most of my “business” is conducted by email, and free wi-fi, or at least reasonable internet access, makes talking so '20th Century.'

One Mexican cellular service I haven't mentioned is Iusacel, the number 3 carrier. They offer CDMA service and are offered in even fewer retailers than the others. However, at the airport, Iusacel has a huge sign that says, "Welcome Verizon" customers, implying we are able to use our Verizon phones just like we were home. I took that as a warning. That sign loomed larger than the roaming triangle on my phone...and that's HUGE!


Anonymous said...

Have you tried using T-Mobiles hotspot @ home service while roaming in Mexico. I've heard claims from people that they get around the international roaming issues by only using their phones when they can get WiFi access.

Anonymous said...


You really need to try Mexitel phones when you are in Mexico. They send them to you before you leave and calls to the US from Mexico are $1 per call (not per minute), and incoming calls are all free. Even at a mere 10 minutes of calling per day, the Mexitel phone pays for itself within days, and since they work on the Telcel system, they work everywhere in Mexico (which the other cell providers do not). You can find them at and thanks for a great blog!

Oz Andrews said...

Both are good potential options and we'll include them on our Mexico Roaming Page. We are also looking for experiences with a service that will sell you a SIM in advance. It's pricey but anything that reduces hassle may be worthwhile.