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-   -   Telecel MX - free roaming option in USA and Canada (http://www.prepaidgsm.net/forum/showthread.php?t=9693)

RTuesday 09-11-2015 03:21

Telecel MX - free roaming option in USA and Canada
 
It's been out a while but I haven't seen it mentioned here: Telcel Mexico have a new prepaid option: "Amigo Óptimo Plus Sin Frontera".

http://telcel.com/portal/personas/am...html?mid=1114#

Free incoming calls in Mexico, USA, and Canada. Same price to make calls whether you're in Mexico, USA or Canada, calling any of those countries (from 0.98 to 1.98 MXN / US 6 - 12c per minute, depending on how much you recharge each month).

Outbound texts are 0.98 MXN / 6c, data is 1.98 MXN / 12c per MB, again from any of the three countries.

Minimum reload to keep the account alive is 100 pesos every 60 days (so US $3/month). One downside: Telcel only roams on T-mobile in the US now, rather than AT&T.

I use this sim in combination with a Localphone account where I have incoming numbers in Canada ($3/mo), US and UK ($1/mo each). I answer that on (or call from) VOIP when indoors, and it forwards to the Mexican mobile with this tariff when I'm out of wi-fi range, at a forwarding cost of 6c/min.

Works well for my low voice-only usage - I can be reached on the same phone from local numbers in 4 countries, I pay 0-6c/min in, 12c/min out to US, Canada, Mexico, when not on VOIP, and total cost is around $8/mo.

BTW, Movistar (the other main Mexico carrier) do have a "call from the US at the same rate" promotion at the moment, but they charge (at the same rate) for incoming while roaming, and don't cover Canada.

(Edit: there's a typo in Telcel in the subject, but I don't see any way to edit that).

DRNewcomb 09-11-2015 17:31

Yeah. What happened is that AT&T bought the Mexican carrier Iusacell, which is now "AT&T Mexico". This sort of forced Telecel to align with T-Mobile (US) to create a big North American free roaming zone. Depending on one's plan, T-Mobile customers now have free roaming in Canada and Mexico. The same is true for participating carriers in those countries.

RTuesday 10-11-2015 20:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by DRNewcomb (Post 48282)
What happened is that AT&T bought the Mexican carrier Iusacell, which is now "AT&T Mexico".

AT&T Mexico (formed from both IUSACell and Nextel Mexico) still has a long way to go to get decent coverage (well, doesn't cover anywhere I travel). But at least they're expanding the network as LTE-first, so in a few years it'll be a decent competitor.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DRNewcomb (Post 48282)
This sort of forced Telecel to align with T-Mobile (US) to create a big North American free roaming zone. Depending on one's plan, T-Mobile customers now have free roaming in Canada and Mexico. The same is true for participating carriers in those countries.

Apart from the long-established AT&T Go Phone, which costs the same in Mexico as the US, I don't think any US or Canadian carrier yet offers roaming in all three countries for pay-as-you-go, like Telcel. T-Mobile only offers the roaming with monthly plans (prepaid or postpaid) that start at $50. The per-minute or par-day prepaid on T-Mobile doesn't have the free roaming.

I don't think any carrier in Canada yet offers same-price/free roaming in US or Mexico without special plans or fees, whether prepaid or postpaid (Rogers "Roam like home" is $5/day US, $10/day Mexico, Europe).

wolfbln 10-11-2015 21:24

Hi. Sure Telcel had to react to the new AT&T Unidos on the horizon. But these prices are a reply mostly to Movistar, which has not been mentioned so far.

In Central America Telcel/Claro is losing ground as they still don't offer good roaming rates for prepaid SIM cards, but only to contracts. Their big competitor is Movistar which has taken the lead there with its "sin fronteras" program- It sells mins, txts and data for the domestic price within all its Central American networks on prepaid as well. Interestingly, Mexico is included from all Central America's networks of Movistar. But this offer is not available the other way in Mexico for Central America.

What the comparison with Telcel in Mexico towards the US is concerned, Movistar is also pushing Telcel. Carlos Slim fears Movistar much more than AT&T Unidos at the moment:
In their 'Bye Roaming' promo http://www.movistar.com.mx/bye-roaming they offer 1 MB roaming data in the US at 0.85 MXP on their regular prepaid Prepago Simple line, while Telcel offers a default rate of 1.98 MXP per MB. That's more than twice as much on their special and complicated tariff "Tarifa Optimo Plus sin frontera".

What roaming packages on prepaid for the US are concerned, the same story:
Telecel offers 'Paquetes Viajero Internacional' for prepaid in Canada and the US: http://www.telcel.com/portal/microsi.../paquetes.html
e.g. 200 MB for 30 days at 459 MXP or 1 GB for 7 days at 899 MXP.
Meanwhile Movistar offers in their "bye al roaming" campaign https://www2.movistar.com.mx/prepago-lg-l70/ roaming packages for Canada and the US: 500 MB for 30 days at 250 MXP and 1 GB for 30 days at 300 MXP. Again almost 50% below Telcel's rates.

I have to say that this battle is won by Movistar for now. But because of the huge market power of Telecel in Mexico (market share: 71%, but falling), this will be hardly recognized.

It would be nice to know on which network Movistar allows roaming in the US as T-Mobile seems to go for Telcel and AT&T has its own plans in Mexico.

RTuesday 10-11-2015 23:03

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48284)
Hi. Sure Telcel had to react to the new AT&T Unidos on the horizon. But these prices are a reply mostly to Movistar, which has not been mentioned so far.

I did briefly mention them (second to last paragraph of my original message). Doesn't really compete for me because they appear to charge for incoming calls outside Mexico, and don't cover Canada (I spend about a third of the year in Canada).

I also got the impression from the Bye al Roaming page that data wasn't included (it mentions "calls and SMS" above the flags) although reading the fine print it seems it is. (but the official tariff only mentions calls: http://www.movistar.com.mx/documents...+30Jul2015.pdf )

They could certainly make the wording clearer.


Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48284)
In their 'Bye Roaming' promo http://www.movistar.com.mx/bye-roaming they offer 1 MB roaming data in the US at 0.85 MXP on their regular prepaid Prepago Simple line, while Telcel offers a default rate of 1.98 MXP per MB. That's more than twice as much on their special and complicated tariff "Tarifa Optimo Plus sin frontera".

True, but if you're using data by the MB rather a package (not a good idea), you'll soon reach the higher Telcel recharge amounts which lower their price to nearly the same. As I mentioned, this is almost entirely for voice for me, there are better options for data.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48284)
It would be nice to know on which network Movistar allows roaming in the US as T-Mobile seems to go for Telcel and AT&T has its own plans in Mexico.

I do have a Movistar sim as well. It flips between both T-Mobile (preferred) and AT&T in the US. I don't know if that's all areas, I don't use it often.

BTW, I forgot to mention, Telcel doesn't roam on T-Mobile's roaming areas in the US (mostly very rural). An example is Ely, Nevada where T-Mobile prepaid roams on AT&T, and Telcel doesn't find anything it can roam on.

RTuesday 19-12-2015 03:03

The Telcel web site has changed, the details of this rate are now at http://telcel.com/personas/telefonia...s-sin-frontera

Outbound calls are a little cheaper and do still vary a bit depending on recharge level, from 0.98 to 1.49 pesos (6 to 9c/min), to call from anywhere in North America to anywhere in North America. Data and text unchanged.

Incoming calls and incoming texts are still free in all three countries. (I don't know of any other pay-as-you-go without monthly fees that has free incoming calls in all three countries).

Roaming is normally on T-Mobile, but I have found now that AT&T also works, including for 3G data (but not LTE). I have to reboot the phone for it to accept it, can't just select a new network.

wolfbln 19-12-2015 14:13

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTuesday (Post 48340)
The Telcel web site has changed, the details of this rate are now at http://telcel.com/personas/telefonia...s-sin-frontera

It should be still pointed out that their "free roaming offer" does not apply to data use in the US or CAN.
This "advertisment message" can only be achieved by a simple trick:
on their regular Amigo prepaid plan data is at $0.85/MB in Mexico, domestic packages offered
on their Amigo Óptimo Plus Sin Frontera data is at $1.98/MB in Mexico, the US and Canada, no roaming packages offered

Yes, it's true that Telcel does not surcharge for roaming on their special plan, but this plan can be changed anytime to a domestic plan with a rate 40% of this or by adding packages (which are only valid in Mexico). On their new website, it's also very strange that no prepaid packages are offered for data in the US at all, but only for Latinamerica and postpaid customers, see here: http://www.telcel.com/personas/telef...etes-y-precios Have they forgotten to add them or are they discontinued?

I think AT&T Unidos (Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon) is much more transparent in this respect. They charge the same rates without these tricks and offer data bundles for all over Mexico (where they have coverage), the US and Canada.

So let's do a short calculation for data use: 1.5 GB in 30 days roaming in the US or Canada on a Mexican prepaid plan: on Telecel's roaming plan "sin frontera" you pay MX$ 2970 (1500*1.98) compared to AT&T Unidos MX$ 300. That's about a 10-fold difference!

RTuesday 20-12-2015 04:46

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48341)
on their regular Amigo prepaid plan data is at $0.85/MB in Mexico, domestic packages offered
on their Amigo Óptimo Plus Sin Frontera data is at $1.98/MB in Mexico, the US and Canada, no roaming packages offered

Yes, the Sin Frontera rate does charge more for data in Mexico than the base Amigo plan (although using the "regalo" balance brings the effective cost down for both, while in Mexico). In Mexico, where mobile is the only internet I have, I normally use the 3GB/30 day data bundle for 399 pesos on a second sim (packages work the same on either plan).

In the US and Canada my usage is mostly voice and text, I use very little data outside of wifi, but the 12c/MB is comparable to US prepaid like H2O and cheaper than most in Canada. (I'm not comparing it to anything that has a fixed monthly subscription). If I was a heavy data user outside Mexico I'd just use a local sim.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48341)
I think AT&T Unidos (Iusacell, Nextel, Unefon) is much more transparent in this respect. They charge the same rates without these tricks and offer data bundles for all over Mexico (where they have coverage), the US and Canada.

Their rates look good, but they don't have any coverage within 100 miles of me in Mexico. Hopefully they will do eventually, especially with their spectrum partnership with Movistar, but it could be a long time. Even Movistar is only 2GB for me, Telcel is 3G at reasonable speeds (3-8 Mb/s). Coverage is important.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfbln (Post 48341)
So let's do a short calculation for data use: 1.5 GB in 30 days roaming in the US or Canada on a Mexican prepaid plan: on Telecel's roaming plan "sin frontera" you pay MX$ 2970 (1500*1.98) compared to AT&T Unidos MX$ 300. That's about a 10-fold difference!

If I was using that amount of data, I'd use a local sim. My focus is on voice and text, especially incoming, and pay-as-you-go (just pay for what I use, with minimal costs when I don't use much).

I wasn't able to spot any pay-as-you-go plan on the AT&T Unidos site, they all seem to be monthly plans.

So, I think we're talking about two different things (which is why there are two answers).

I'm interested in (and am using) a very low usage pay-as-you-go service for voice and sms, with a little data (more in Mexico), and good coverage. Sort of like a "glovebox phone", where the running cost is important (most of time, a 100 peso recharge every two months is enough, especially as incoming calls and texts are free in all three countries).

You're talking about heavier international data usage, and a much higher monthly fee. Similar to the various US plans with roaming. Different market, different answer.


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