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Author: Subject: Long-term use of U.S. Cell plan in Mexico
Bajaboy
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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 07:08 AM
Long-term use of U.S. Cell plan in Mexico


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Hey, y'all--

I'm considering switching from Verizon to T-Mobile because of the latter's seamless roaming into Mexico, but am a little hesitant because of comments I've seen about time restrictions on use outside of the country.

Are any of you using your U.S. cell plan (from any provider) for long periods in Mexico (i.e. more than 3 consecutive months), and/or have you run into any problems with extended periods of roaming?

Thanks--


Everyone I talk to has a different answer based on their situation. If you are on FB, I can point to a good discussion topic with lots of suggestions.

Our US phones allow us to make call via Wifi. With that, we use our Telcel for local calls and use Whatsapp for video calls etc. I plan on getting a dual sim phone next time so I only have to carry one phone around. Now that we have Starlink, our calls are crystal clear.




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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 09:35 AM


BB,

I have had Tmoble for about a year. Our place in San Felipe is south of the cell coverage. We use the WiFi calling feature there. When we go south and use Telcel I will sometimes receive a “welcome to Mexico” text. I also use WiFi calling there at home. So far I haven't received the dreaded “You’re spending too much time in Mexico” text. Time will tell if our new StarLink changes that.

[Edited on 5-17-2022 by RFClark]
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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 10:04 AM


We use WiFi calling in Mexico because it seems not to trigger the dreaded message. We also use it in the states cause we have bad cell service thee too! StarLink fixes it everywhere and is very portable!
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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 05:40 PM


please translate for me - what is wifi calling?




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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 06:07 PM


Most modern cell phones have a setting in cell settings for use wifi calling when possible, you will use the phone as normal but it will go over wifi internet.

Also, many cell manufacturers have models with 2 sim slots, so you can use data across 2 sims from separate providers, for example, telcel and t mobile, which make connection more likely and at lower cost.

A good cell phone with 2 sims can also be a good wifi hotspot for additional devices with speeds about 5-10mbs up/down.
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Bajaboy
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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 06:18 PM


Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
BB,

I have had Tmoble for about a year. Our place in San Felipe is south of the cell coverage. We use the WiFi calling feature there. When we go south and use Telcel I will sometimes receive a “welcome to Mexico” text. I also use WiFi calling there at home. So far I haven't received the dreaded “You’re spending too much time in Mexico” text. Time will tell if our new StarLink changes that.

[Edited on 5-17-2022 by RFClark]


We use our telcel for travelling in Baja. Otherwise we used our former carrier in the states for our US number. Sadly they were bought out by Dish and raised the rates.

So I think we are going to move our US numbers to Tello which is a bare bones provider. We don't need data...just a number. We live here full time but need a US number.

As for Starlink, last time I checked we were clocking over 300 Mbps. Life is good!




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Bajaboy
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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 06:27 PM


Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
We use WiFi calling in Mexico because it seems not to trigger the dreaded message. We also use it in the states cause we have bad cell service thee too! StarLink fixes it everywhere and is very portable!


I read on Mexico Digital Nomads on FB that if your phones pings more than three months in Mexico, you get hit. It doesn't matter if you use cell or wifi.

[Edited on 5-18-2022 by Bajaboy]




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RFClark
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[*] posted on 5-17-2022 at 07:09 PM


BB,

That has yet to be our experience! We will update if using StarLink changes things,

Harald,

There are what are called IP phones that work on the internet. Some carriers run a virtual pbx and when your phone logs in on WiFi they rout your calls through the internet. Google it if you’re interested. It won't work well with Viasat or Hughes because of the high latency. It works great with StarLink!

Sorry but the tech words are necessary!
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[*] posted on 5-18-2022 at 04:55 AM


dual sim phone with telcel for mx, and mint mobile so i have a us number works for me
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[*] posted on 5-18-2022 at 05:35 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by Bajaboy  

I read on Mexico Digital Nomads on FB that if your phones pings more than three months in Mexico, you get hit. It doesn't matter if you use cell or wifi.

Do you consider that information credible? Why would the provider even care, if you're using pure Internet telephony and not roaming onto the Mexican cellular network?

While we're on the topic, do WiFi-calling-enabled phones also send and receive text messages (SMS) over the WiFi connection, or do they have to connect to the celular network for that?


Before being bought by Dish, Republic Wireless was a pioneer in Wifi enabled calling. As such, we got trained to always look for free wifi so we could connect our phones. The phones would look for the best route to send calls either over wifi, a combination of wifi/cell, or only cell. It worked great and still does. As long as you have a good wifi connection, there is no difference.

So yes, we get texts over SMS and make calls over wifi. Oh and just until a few weeks ago, our Tecel service was horrible here in BA. They recently upgraded the tower so things are a bit better now.




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[*] posted on 5-18-2022 at 05:59 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
There are what are called IP phones that work on the internet. Some carriers run a virtual pbx and when your phone logs in on WiFi they rout your calls through the internet.


Are you able to send and receive SMS (Texts) when you're in that connection modality?


Yes, texting can work with wifi cxn.

But,…

Last few trips to Mexico with roaming on AT&T I only received some of texts sent to me from usa numbers. While roaming in Mexico, not all vm and text made it to me while in mex. When I returned to usa a bunch of missing vm and txt appeared.

Lesson learned: whatsapp is more reliable for texting




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[*] posted on 5-18-2022 at 07:11 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by RFClark  
There are what are called IP phones that work on the internet. Some carriers run a virtual pbx and when your phone logs in on WiFi they rout your calls through the internet.


Are you able to send and receive SMS (Texts) when you're in that connection modality?


Lencho
Here in BoLA there is no cell connection so I am 100% wifi and I receive/send texts and calls with no problems. I use Viasat now and it is not the greatest service so I am thinking of switching to starlink for the phone calls.




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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 09:44 AM


I've been in SF for almost 3 years and never heard a peep out of Verizon about being out of the country. Recently told them to blow and went with ATT prepaid, $25 a month all up front for a year. Seems to work fine so far, about 3 months now.

When I was getting the ATT PP I told the guy I lived here full time and would that be a problem, he couldn't have cared less.




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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 10:20 AM


Quote: Originally posted by lencho  
Quote: Originally posted by Bajazly  
I've been in SF for almost 3 years and never heard a peep out of Verizon about being out of the country. Recently told them to blow and went with ATT prepaid, $25 a month all up front for a year. Seems to work fine so far, about 3 months now.

Good price! Are you able to use that as a Wifi hotspot on the Telcel (Telnor?) network there in SF?


Not sure I have tried that yet, I have pretty good internet here. I'll try it in a while and let you know.

With the PP plan you get 8 gigs a month of data that apparently rolls over if you don't use it all. There is a daily limit but I haven't hit that yet. I stream Pandora a lot and on my phone it will not work via wifi, has to come thru the cell signal while Iheart radio is the opposite, has to come thru wifi.




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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 11:11 AM


I have the same ATT plan. 5 months at a time in Baja, no problems.
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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 02:35 PM


yes, 8 gigs a month, and they will roll over leftovers for a month.
$300 a year, up front.
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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 03:59 PM


My wife has a Verizon phone and it works fine for six months at time in Baja. 500mb a day high speed data and unlimited talk and text. I think Telcel is doing something with data speeds so it isn't as fast as my Telcel chip. Friends with AT&T report similar issues when using the Telcel towers.



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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 04:33 PM


I had Verizon pre TMobile and it only worked in the major cities. TMobile works everywhere there’s cell service.
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[*] posted on 5-19-2022 at 05:29 PM


She's on a unlimited plan that's a few years old. iPhone 13 Pro. Works everywhere in Baja on Telcel network. With 4G LTE networks now you don't have to worry about international phones like when their was a GSM vs. CDMA difference.



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[*] posted on 5-20-2022 at 09:56 AM


The hotspot on the ATT PP seems to work pretty good, not as fast obviously but pretty functional. Different times of day may vary in quality I'm guessing.



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