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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default Prepaid unlimited gprs data now in Mexico - 17-11-2008, 06:44

Telcel Amigo have a new tariff for "unlimited" prepaid data in Mexico, by the day, week or month.

First, get a Telcel Amigo prepaid card (widely available) and add some credit. Test out your gprs data connection settings with the pay-as-you-go-data, that now seems to come as standard. (APN "internet.itelcel.com"', dial *99***1#, no user/password).

Once you've got that working, and have enough money on the card, you can send an SMS to get unlimited data for 1 day, 7 days, 15 days or 30 days. Prices work out around Five US dollars for one day, down to $2 per day when you get 30 days. Appears to be calendar days, not 24 hour periods. Buying large recharge cards gets you bonus time that should reduce those costs by up to 40%.

The details of this are on their site - http://www.telcel.com.mx then "Amigo de Telcel" then "Internet Telcel Amigo" on the left menu. It's also possible to sign up for it on the account portal https://www.atencionenlinea.telcel.com/ instead of SMS.

It's "unlimited", but limited. After the first 100MB or so per day (3GB per month), they may drop your speed down to 128kb. Doesn't seem to be a volume limit (although speed obviously limits the amount of data). Around here, I'm getting 192 kb/s download, 96 kb/s upload, but in other areas they have 3G. Works in Mexico only.

I haven't tried it out yet (although I have used the pay-as-you-go data on several devices), might have a need for it later in the week though. It sounds ideal for short-term visitors to Mexico.
   
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VladS (Offline)
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Default 17-11-2008, 18:35

This IS great news. Too bad there's no 3G south of Cancun in the Riviera Maya.


VladS
Mobile phones: iPhone 5, Blackberry 9900, Nexus S, Samsung S3322 duos
Mobile data cards: Huawei E587u-5, Huawei E583c, Huawei E160
Postpaid SIMs: CA: Fido, Wind; INTL: Telna
Prepaid SIMs: DE: Fonic, Lidl; AT: yesss!, bob; UK: O2; US: AT&T; RO: Orange, Vodafone; FR: b&you, Lycamobile; NL: Lycamobile; BE: Lycamobile, Jim Mobile; CL: Entel; MX: Telcel; INTL: eKit Blue, eKit Yellow
Dead SIMs: too many to list
   
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money69 (Offline)
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Default 19-11-2008, 01:01

This is good news. However, I would like to add a word of caution about bonuses and the "fine print" which in reality is not printed at all. The Mexican cellphone market I would say is overall pretty shady. For example, I thought it would be good with Movistar to buy $500 worth of credit when they have the promotions because that coupled with the $1 for 20mins of talk time it would be a steal for calling back to the US. Well, it seems that the "bonus" time is only valid for Movistar to Movistar calls and and maybe local calls to landlines, problem is they dont state any of that.

So, my point is, if you get the bonus thinking you can use it for whatever just be careful, it might be the same on Telcel. Id probably bet money it is. But......even if that IS the case its still a good deal for broadband data on the go in Mexico.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 19-11-2008, 01:49

Quote:
Originally Posted by money69 View Post
So, my point is, if you get the bonus thinking you can use it for whatever just be careful, it might be the same on Telcel.
Agreed, this is why I wrote "should reduce".

But it's a good point, so I checked. Soon after filling with a 200 peso card I get (60 pesos free):

Saldo del teléfono: $ 211.55
Saldo regalo : $ 59.19
Saldo ideas : 7.00 SMS

The balance enquiry charge (0.81 pesos) gets deducted from the "gift" balance. I then tried a bit of pay-as-you-go data, and it was also deducted from the "gift" balance, so it seems to get used first. When I try out the one-day access soon (I'll also play around with Joiku to get a mobile hotspot) I'll double-check that also deducts from the gift balance first.

Best case then, if that works, if you used an account just for data, and refilled with 500 peso cards (currently +400 pesos bonus), and buy 30 days access at a time via the online portal (where the price is 764 rather than 799) is 14.15 pesos per day - USD 1.08, about $32 a month.

This can change at any time though - for example the "pay per call" tariff is now in blocks of 15 minutes at a time, not 20 minutes like it used to be (in region 1).

When 3G gets here it'll beat my existing fixed-wireless internet connection. Even without 3G it's fine as a backup.
   
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money69 (Offline)
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Default 20-11-2008, 02:32

Quote:
Originally Posted by RTuesday View Post
Agreed, this is why I wrote "should reduce".

But it's a good point, so I checked. Soon after filling with a 200 peso card I get (60 pesos free):

Saldo del teléfono: $ 211.55
Saldo regalo : $ 59.19
Saldo ideas : 7.00 SMS

The balance enquiry charge (0.81 pesos) gets deducted from the "gift" balance. I then tried a bit of pay-as-you-go data, and it was also deducted from the "gift" balance, so it seems to get used first. When I try out the one-day access soon (I'll also play around with Joiku to get a mobile hotspot) I'll double-check that also deducts from the gift balance first.

Best case then, if that works, if you used an account just for data, and refilled with 500 peso cards (currently +400 pesos bonus), and buy 30 days access at a time via the online portal (where the price is 764 rather than 799) is 14.15 pesos per day - USD 1.08, about $32 a month.

This can change at any time though - for example the "pay per call" tariff is now in blocks of 15 minutes at a time, not 20 minutes like it used to be (in region 1).

When 3G gets here it'll beat my existing fixed-wireless internet connection. Even without 3G it's fine as a backup.
All good information, please let us know what happens. Im in Mexico about once a month and I could use this.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 22-11-2008, 06:15

Took me a while to realize, but the reason the Telcel Amigo online account portal shows the 30-day rate as 764 pesos rather than 799 pesos is because my account is in a border area.

Here the included IVA (VAT, sales tax) is 10%, rather than the 15% that applies in the rest of Mexico. (799 / 1.15 * 1.10 = 764). (Same for SMS: 0.81 rather than 0.85).

So it's not an online discount.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 24-11-2008, 01:51

I've been testing this today (as it'll be my back-up internet if my main connection is down for a while).

There's good news and bad news.

The good news: the "1 day" connection is 24 hours from when you request it, not a calendar day. After texting BAT1 to 5050 you get back (about 10 seconds later) a confirmation message showing the time your unlimited service expires, which is 24 hours ahead. (the time shown is Mexico City time, even if you're in another time zone).

The bad news: the money (66.81 pesos in border areas, 69 pesos elsewhere) is NOT deducted from the bonus time first. Unlike texts and pay-as-you-go internet it comes only from the actual money on the account. This limits how low the price can go (you could still use the bonus time for PAYG internet most days to quickly check email, and just sign up for a day when you actually need a longer connection).

This is with my laptop (Ubuntu Linux) tethered to my Nokia E51 with bluetooth. Gets around 192kb/s download, 96 kb/s upload. There are several hops on Telcel's internal network before the connection comes out onto the internet in Mexico City, so quite long latency to get anywhere. But good enough for basic email and web.

It's very flexible for short-term visitors, and usable (if a bit pricey) for seasonal residents, especially given the months it can take to get a normal phone+internet.
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Default 16-01-2009, 19:33

The prices on Telcel's prepaid unlimited data were reduced today, by about 25-30%. They sent a text message to customers to announce it.

It's now 47 pesos (US$3.35) for a day (24 hrs), 76 pesos ($5.40) for 2 days (that's a new period), reducing to 621 pesos ($44.35, under $1.50 a day) for 30 days. These are border-area prices, it's about 5% higher inland (different VAT rate).

Still the same volume limits for 3G though (100MB/day, 3GB/mo at the higher speed, then dropping to low speed).
   
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money69 (Offline)
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Default 17-01-2009, 01:59

Im glad they came out with a 2-day plan, I can definitely use this since I am usually always there for a weekend, Im going to need to stop off and get a Telcel sim next time im in Monterrey.

Rtuesday, did you say you where on the per minute plan???

Also, on a side note, Movistar now also has 3G data in multiple locations. Doesn't seem like they have it prepaid though although theres a monthly plan option with no contract required. Overall, for 3G data Id have to say its better to go with Telcel.
   
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Default 20-01-2009, 03:08

Thanks for reporting all of this, it's very helpful.
   
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