Wednesday, February 19, 2014

MetroPCS Goes to Mexico

A few days ago we featured MetroPCS, now owned by T-Mobile, as a newcomer in many areas of the US, and wondered if, or how, they would start promoting the service.  I have begun to hear a few plain vanilla radio ads and seen some bus sides for them, and a few TV mentions.  But the thing that caught our eye was their new Mexico roaming abilities.  

Until recently, AT&T's GoPhone was the only US Prepaid phone that roamed economically in Mexico.  Now MetroPCS takes advantage of the fact that new customers are being issued GSM phones that will easily roam in Mexico.  The catch is that Mexico roaming requires a $10 add-on that gives you a couple hundred minutes of talk time or texts from Mexico, and unlimited incoming texts while in Mexico.  Most of us would need Mexico roaming only a few times a year, if that.  But the plan also includes an even bigger number of calls to Mexico including unlimited calls to Mexico landlines. You need to subscribe to their $50 (or higher) monthly plan to qualify for this add-on...not the catchy $40 plan they advertise.  There's no mention of Data.   Those who cross the border on a semi-regular basis or those with family in Mexico would stand to gain, the rest of us, less so.

While T-Mobile phones only roam on the smaller Movistar network in Mexico, it should be adequate for most gringos. The most notable part of this offering is that T-Mobile has taken MetroPCS in a direction that is different that T-Mobile itself.  Along with T-Mobile's greatly increased International roaming capabilities, this new Mexico roaming capability gives us a taste of what may be possible from the carrier that's wearing the same clothes but now has a much better looking body.  We even gave them another "Star" in our Mountain Prepaid Ratings improving them toward the middle of favored no-contract carriers.