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Author: Subject: Cell Phones in Mexico
Junior Nomad

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[*] posted on 10-15-2017 at 12:19 PM

Hi Tim,
I use Consumer Cellular in US, which uses full ATT network in US, on a GSM phone- an Ebay Samsung S-5 Active 16 gig. Best to get a guaranteed new phone-not refurb-tched, or they may have replaced the screen without resealing it, = no waterproof. I test it on receipt under warranty, but keep it dry if possible, and use an Aquapac case when out kayaking.
When I cross into Mexico , I just pull out the Consumer Cellular Sim card and stick in the Telcel sim card with its mex cell #, and stop by an OXXO store to top up minutes and data.
Since the phone is really an old ATT model, you may have to re do the APN settings for data and text w/ Consumer Cell or other carrier, on coming back to US. Also disable ATT and Samsung junk apps.
Redo of APN takes 5 min and easy with a printout of the settings.
This way I have same good phone with all apps, contacts, data, ample memory, decent camera etc. Most people say that the Telcel network works best in the boonies- I agree.
I have done the same thing with this phone recently cycling around Spain, with a Spain Sim and phone #.

Note that Verizon US uses CDMA vs GSM technology and is not that compatible with rest of the world using GSM technology. I've never had Verizon, but those who do say it is more limited in Mexico. Maybe OK for short stay. With CDMA you probably cannot swap Sim cards, as far as I've heard- but no personal experience. I like having a Mexican number so people can call you easily with calling your US #.

Good advice above re disabling data when not needed.

One will also learn that Pandora and some other services don't work in Mexico, unless you use a VPN app to fool Pandora or other service that you are where the server you selected in the VPN app is located.

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Mood: chilly today hot tomale

[*] posted on 10-18-2017 at 11:26 AM

As streaming services go, many are US based and limited to US usage. Does anyone use Amazon to stream movies or music in Baja?

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Reality is what does not go away when you stop believing in it. -Philip K Dick
Nothing is worse than active ignorance. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe(1749-1832, German writer, artist and politician)
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I\'ve never tried before. - Mae West
Experience is what keeps a man who makes the same mistake twice from admitting it the third time around.
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Location: Pleasanton/Punta Chivato
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[*] posted on 10-20-2017 at 07:08 AM

I have five lines (family) on AT&T with 20 whatevers of data which entitles me Mexico and Canada free of charge. Unlimited talk and data in Mexico (as long as we don't go over the 20....). Phone works great (iPhone 7) as long as there is service available. There is even LTE in come places and data works great with that. Obviously NO service when in middle of nowhere. But near populated areas, works great. We even get sporadic service in Punta Chivato. Cost for five lines: $210/month, so about $42 per line.
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[*] posted on 12-22-2017 at 09:04 PM

Just got a notice from T Mobile that "I have used more than 50% of my recent data while in roaming mode" and they "suggested" that I start using Wi-fi signals instead of tethering my phone as a hot spot. And if I didn't I risked having my service canceled....
When I called them and explained that the Wi-fi near my Casa was too weak to get a reliable signal the techie suggested I download "T Mobile Digits"from the Google Play site, unlock my phone, and get a Mexican SIM card. Then the Digits app would somehow be able to "see" my new SIM card and use it as something like a VPN which would let me keep my 5 gig limit, but NOT have it counted against data roaming since the Mexican SIM card would then be handling all data as "local". Has anyone else tried this yet?

"Nothing is really work, unless you would rather be doing something else"... Sir James Barrie

"It is better to travel hopefully than to arrive..." Robert Louis Stevenson
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