Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Brand in Mexico: AT&T

AT&T has chosen the AT&T name for its new wireless product in Mexico.  They have combined the Iusacel and Nextel networks, started to add more cell sites, are upgrading the entire network to 4G-LTE, and should offer a very competitive product south of the border.  So, how do you pronounce "AT&T" in Mexico?  It should be: AH-TAY-Y-TAY...but their ads say A-TEE-N-TEE instead.

At MexicoCellular.com we now show AT&T as an official Mexico carrier and added Unefon as their prepaid brand, somewhat like GoPhone in the US.  Additionally, AT&T has expanded the international calling abilities of their Cricket Wireless prepaid brand to include most of the western hemisphere as a reasonable add-on.  The world indeed seems smaller.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

3 More Networks to Exit

Wireless network consolidation continues.  NTelos, a player in the Virginias has sold some of their spectrum to T-Mobile and the rest of their network and customers to Shenandoah Telecom.  Shenandoah, a.k.a. Shentel is an affiliate of Sprint which means if you live in the Shentel area, your service looks, feels and smells just like Sprint...right down to the name on the stores.  NTelos has been one of our favorite networks.  At least their customers will not suffer any degradation in service.

A carrier in northeast Pennsylvania, NEP Wireless, is giving up their cellular operations.  AT&T bought their spectrum but not necessarily the network or their customers.  NEP users are free to go where they want.  Some transactions like this maintain the contract with the new carrier.  Not in this case.  AT&T may need to provide some incentives, even if it's just to bring your own phone.  NEP is going officially pull the switch on September 22nd of this year.

The other network slip sliding away is MTA Wireless in Alaska.  They haven't announced any shutdown of their existing network, but if you want to sign up with a nice new Smart phone, you need to sign up with Verizon, and MTA is an official retailer of Verizon products.  Verizon used MTA's newly-acquired spectrum to build their own 4G-LTE network and made it available to MTA users.  So, Verizon may or may not take over the MTA network, they really can take it or leave it.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Your Mexico Coverage

It was a big deal when AT&T purchased 2 of the wireless networks in Mexico.  There was hope that someday US vacationers could use their phones in Mexico just like they do at home.  While AT&T gears up to spend Billions to upgrade their new networks, T-Mobile comes up with a deal that opens that door, today, and for a much lower cost.  T-Mobile's roamers use the best Mexico networks available...today...and we get Canada thrown in, too.  In our world this also means Cricket Wireless, GoPhone and MetroPCS change their roaming story as well.

It's no small deal that AT&T customers get no data roaming...yet...and T-Mobile's do.  Of course this will change sometime in the future.  AT&T will construct a 4G LTE network and data will be included for Mexico roamers, but they may end up playing catchup for years.

To the benefit of Mexican wireless users, the other wireless networks in Mexico have also promised  Billions to improve their own networks to 4G LTE as well, which will also benefit T-Mobile roamers. We have no idea what will happen in Canada.  AT&T probably won't buy a network there.  They will need to eventually do what T-Mobile has already done.  Not only has the magenta network invaded the rest of North America with a pen, they continue to disrupt the wireless landscape in the US with a better idea.

Sprint is coming out with a similar plan, Open World, which offers free calls, text and Data while roaming in Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Paraguay.  There may be some limits with this plan unless your Sprint phone includes GSM circuitry.

We're following the deals at MexicoCellular.com.