Monday, January 26, 2015

AT&T Expands Deeper into Mexico

AT&T has agreed to buy another Mexican wireless carrier, Nextel of Mexico.  This will be combined with their now-completed purchase of Iusacell of Mexico to create a wireless carrier with excellent coverage across the entire country.  It means that AT&T (and Cricket) will have a substantial advantage over other US wireless carriers when offering roaming in Mexico.  It also means Mexico wireless users will soon have top notch wireless broadband available as AT&T improves both networks to 4G LTE.

As frequent Mexico travelers, we'll offer continuous updates on the AT&T acquisitions and what it means to US wireless users.  We expect big changes in what we recommend on our Mexico Cellular pages. We also expect some other US carrier will try to remain competitive, otherwise, we'll just recommend switching to AT&T and head for the beach.

As this unfolds, we have added AT&T as a "local" carrier at Mexico Cellular and you can also check our Mexico Coverage Maps including zoomable, Mexico Interactive Maps.  Then head for the beach.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Putting on a Low-Cost Disguise

Last year, AT&T and T-Mobile entered a new mode of competition by acquiring some old networks.  Both companies picked up some spectrum, some customers, but more importantly, a way to compete in the low-cost arena without diluting their main brand.

Picking up a Cricket Wireless phone gives you a slick way to get "AT&T Light".  It's AT&T with a, "We'll do what it takes to compete" way to doing business.  The same is true with MetroPCS which gives T-Mobile a chance to push the low end without cheapening the T-Mobile name.  Both services have much to offer including a large selection of phones and competitive plans.  They both even have a Mexico roaming package.

As I drove across eastern New Mexico at Christmas, I noticed that my Straight Talk phone never switched away from "AT&T" instead of the old "Roaming" label it displayed last time (which happened to be GSM supplied by Verizon).  In this case, AT&T has taken over their recently-purchased Plateau Wireless network, eliminating my last objection to going with a single-network product like Cricket.  Of course I won't want to travel across Nebraska until AT&T makes a presence there.

As we dissect each of carrier's offers, the only difference we can find is that Cricket's Mexico add-on gives you 100 minutes for $10 versus MetroPCS's 200 minutes for the same fee.  Both are a great deal since going to Mexico either required a pricey roaming plan or the need to pick up a GoPhone phone or SIM.  Look for reasonable Mexico Data roaming charges in the near future when AT&T acquires their own network in Mexico, which should also give Cricket a leg up.  Chirp-chirp.