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dpkroh (Offline)
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Join Date: 26 Apr 2011
Location: Toronto

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Cool Mexico iPad 2 prepaid data success with TelCel - 26-04-2011, 15:57

TelCel recenty release some new prepaid data plans - their prepaid
service is generally referred to as Amigo.

I am staying at a resort in the gated community of Peurto Adventuras,
about 15km south of Playa Del Carmen. *Just outside the gate about
500m south, on the northboud side of the highway, in a beige building,
directly across from the highway ramp, is a TelCel dealer.

I went there, and fortunately an English speaking resort worker
happened to be there. *I asked for the 199 peso plan that was good for
up to 700MB of data for up to 7 days, but then changed my mind and
upgraded to 1.5 GB of data for up to 14 days for 299 pesos. *More data
is always better - allowing me to do lots of video and youtube.

Here are the telcel prepaid data offerings
Telcel Mexico Introduces New iPad Data Plans | Tarifica

The dealer did not have any micro-sims, but cut several regular sims
down to size, until he had one that worked in my iPad micro sim slot.
Good idea to bring existing microsim for a good template of exactly
where to cut.

The charge for the SIM was 150 pesos and 20 pesos more for a surcharge
for an international account? *Forgot the name of the dealer employee
but he was very helpful and patient. *Did a lot of work to get it
working. *Now that he has experience, probably can be faster next
time.

I get a full 5 bars of connection everywhere around the area. *Latency
is a rather high, typically about 750ms, but sometimes as low as
500ms. *Speed ranges from slow to moderate, download tests showing
anywhere from 0.5Mb/s to 1.5Mb/s and upload typically testing at about
0.25Mb/s.

I paid the dealer directly in Canadian dollars. *Not as good an
exchange rate as at a bank, but easier for a small transaction. *The
store offered the typical retailer rate of 1 Canadian or 1 US dollar
per 10 pesos. *So my total cost for 1.5GB of data for two weeks, was
$30 data + $15 sim card + $2 foreign charge, and for all the work the
guy did, I told him to just take $50 and keep the change.

The cost for 1.5GB of roaming data using my Rogers SIM from Canada
would be $40,275 instead of the local telcel rate of $30 !!

I had the card set up for data only, but I could have added the option
of voice, and then used it in my iPhone instead, but I have no need
for voice. So the card will not work in an iphone without taking it
back to a TelCel dealer and asking to have it activated for voice. *I
noticed in the iPad menus that there is no phone number associated
with my iPad SIM card. *My Rogers iPad SIM card has a phone number
associated with it.

Sent from my 3G iPad 2
   
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Stu (Offline)
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Posts: 1,087
Join Date: 11 Feb 2004
Location: Detroit (formerly Dubai)

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Default 26-04-2011, 18:31

I bought one of these off E-Bay to deal with MicroSIM issues:

Amazon.com: Micro SIM Cutter, Converter with 2 SIM adapters: Electronics
   
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RTuesday (Offline)
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Posts: 344
Join Date: 28 Mar 2005
Location: See flag

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Default 27-04-2011, 01:44

Sounds like you got a really helpful dealer! As you say, it was a learning curve for him and he can now offer a sim-cutting-down service. Telcel company stores should (in theory!) have microsims in stock.

The rates/deals for the iPad are the same prepaid Amigo rates available for any other data connection (what was new in Sept 2010 was the launch of the microsim). Note the double-data offer mentioned in that announcemen has since expired. In addition to the rates listed there, there are a couple of new rates.

One is on Banda Ancha Telcel - Paquetes Internet Telcel Amigo :
15MB valid for one day for 15 pesos - good if you just want to check you have usable reception (or for minimal email)

and when you've signed up for online access to your account at
https://www.atencionenlinea.telcel.c...ntes/index.jsp
there are three more low-volume deals (for those who just need the bare minimum smartphone email checking etc)

50MB or 30 days for 47 pesos
150MB or 30 days for 143 pesos
300MB or 30 days for 286 pesos
(note: those are border-area prices, it's little more elsewhere)

In some areas (like where I am!), the 3G network is now getting overloaded and unreliable, but otherwise the speeds you are getting are fairly typical, although latency is much lower near the northern border.


Sims: Telcel MX, T-Mobile US, Virgin Mobile UK, Orange UK, Knowroaming
Voip: Localphone UK, Anveo US, Google Voice
   
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dcx45 (Offline)
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Posts: 2
Join Date: 13 Feb 2012

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Default If you're staying in Playacar ... - 14-02-2012, 13:40

Hi,
just wanted to share my experience, hope this helps somebody.

After reading the very helpful post by dpkroh I arrived equipped with a SIM cutter bought off Amazon. First I went to the big TelCel branch in Centro Maya only to be told that they have no new numbers to connect (!) and to come back next day, following day they wanted my passport even though previous day driving license was enough. In short they were very unhelpful.

In a bout of desperation I tried the small booth which is in the shopping centre itself-right in front of checkouts. The girl spoke no english whatsoever, but was keen to sell, so with a printout of the dpkroh's post, showing the prices and my five phrases in spanish I managed to get her to sell me new card, activate it and add the data tariff, I've cut it and voila ...

Moral of this story - avoid "official" TelCel branches.

I was getting about 300Kb downstream in Playacar, more in central Playa. Perfect antidote to the overpriced, lobby only, access our hotel was offering.
   
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dcx45 (Offline)
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Join Date: 13 Feb 2012

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Default 12-12-2012, 10:58

UPDATE DECEMBER 2012

The kiosk is no longer there and you have to go the main telcel branch. It is possible to get a micro sim now. Just be patient.

Guy here gives a good account:

Getting Telcel prepaid data plan(internet) in PDC - Nov 2012 - Playa del Carmen Message Board - TripAdvisor

The operative problem is when the only person who speaks decent english isnt there

Rudimentary Spanish is then required and you have to be patient, the staff will wish you just went away ... If you ever wanted to know whan bureaucray was like in the USSR well this is it.

You have to get a ticket to queue, then queue again for the cash teller to pay for the sim, then go back to your rep, then go again to the cash till to pay for the credit, then again to pay for the credit and so on. The guy on tripadvisor claims 20 minutes, but we turned up on a busy afternoon and spent a full hour in the store. There are new tariffs the 1,5 gb for two weeks is now 249 pesos ...
   
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