3 Tips to Reduce Cell Phone Costs in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Mexico's cell phone systems are compatible with USA and Canada cell systems. Coverage is good in most tourist areas such as Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Cancun.
By: Sue Lyon
 
 
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Sept. 27, 2010 - PRLog -- PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO

3 TIPS TO REDUCE CELL PHONE COSTS IN PUERTO VALLARTA MEXICO

SHORT-TERM TRAVELERS TO PUERTO VALLARTA

Mexico's cell phone systems are compatible with USA and Canada cell systems.  Coverage is good in most tourist areas such as Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Acapulco, Guadalajara, Mexico City and Cancun. You can use your home's cell phone in Mexico but you will be charged expensive roaming rates ranging up to US$3.00 per minute, so use it sparingly.  Read the full article at http://rentalsinvallarta.com

INTERNATIONAL ROAMING CHARGES

Check your USA or Canadian cell phone carrier's international roaming costs before you use your cell phone in Mexico which can range from US$0.60 per minute to as high as US$3.00 per minute.  Here is the roaming charges webpage for Verizon.

AVAILABLE CELL PHONE CARRIERS IN MEXICO

Telcel, the largest Mexican cell phone provider, has upgraded a large portion of its network to the modern GSM system in use at over 200 countries worldwide. Other local carriers include Nextel (owned by giant media conglomerate Televisa), America Movil (owned by Telmex), Movistar and Iusacell (owned by media conglomerate TV Azteca).  

ESTIMATED MONTHLY COST OF A LOCAL CELL PHONE

If you will stay in Mexico for more than a few weeks, you should purchase a Mexico phone to make local phone calls.  You should budget between US$48/month and US$100/month depending which plan you choose.  Per-minute calls to Mexico will costs between US$0.11/min to "favorite" friends in the local area, and US$0.40/min to land-lines, inter-carrier calls or calls outside your local area. Calls from Mexico to other countries are rather expensive if you don't purchase an international calling plan.  It is far cheaper to use an internet phone service instead to make international calls.

HOT TIP - AVOID CROSS-CARRIERE CALLS

Due to their high-cost, cross-carrier phone calls should be avoided. Calling a cell number hosted by another carrier or a home land line can be priced as high as US$0.40 per minute.  The best solution to avoid cross-carrier calls is to acquire a Telcel phone because of its 72% market share amounting to 58-million cell phone users.  Read More about Telcel's market dominance  

PREPAID CELL PHONE PLANS VS. OPEN CELL PHONE PLANS

Mexico's cell phone carriers offer prepaid and open useage plans.  

Prepaid plans require you to purchase a Mexico phone kit consisting of a phone and a SIM card.  These phone kits are available at many dealer stores typically located at shopping malls and busy intersections.  New phones have MX$100 credit, enough for about 250 minutes of calls.  To add more minutes you can purchase additional minutes at any corner store punch the codes into your cell phone to add minutes to your account balance.

Phone calls using prepaid plans cost as high as US$0.40 per minute.  These expensive calls include calls outside your region or calls to Mexican numbers of another phone carrier.   You can designate up to 3 numbers as your "friends" and calls to these numbers will cost US$0.11 per minute....  Make sure that these "friends" numbers are of the same cell phone carrier as your phone otherwise you will pay the higher rate.

Open useage plans require you to open an account at the cell phone carrier's office.  These plans require a credit investigation and a review of official government-issued identification, a 2-3 hour visit to the telephone customer service center and a patient Spanish translator. Open useage plans are available in 100 minute increments ranging from 100- up to 1000-minues of monthly airtime.  If you use more minutes than your contracted plan allows, then you will be billed for the excess minutes.

HOT TIP - OPEN USEAGE CELL PHONE PLANS

It is best to purchase a low minute Open useage plan and pay for any excess at the end of the month since the rate for the excess minutes costs the same as the base minutes.  With this kind of arrangement, you will save money in months with low useage (when you travel overseas) and will pay the higher amount only when you use the phone (when you are residing in Mexico).

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