recommendations for phone plans south of the border

Discussion in 'Latin America' started by Dirtnadvil, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

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    Im looking for a phone plan that will work south of the border. I am getting a new phone so Im open to all sensible suggestions. I intend to use the phone for Nav and internet access while riding. Thanks.....Antone
    #1
  2. Motorius

    Motorius Road trippin' Supporter

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    D4037C86-8DD9-4003-8472-F64E22EDB468.gif

    I know AT&T works in at least parts of Mexico, but you have to call them about charges. They used to rape you but I think that’s changed.
    #2
  3. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

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    I use att now, I want to see if there is anything better out there.
    thanks
    #3
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  4. levain

    levain STILL Jim Williams Supporter

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    Att works great in Mexico
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  5. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    I've been using Sprint "Unlimited Freedom Plan" ... the plan may have changed since I got it but here's what it was when I signed up.
    Price $60/mo

    Mexico & Canada – are included like USA no extra charges:

    Free high-speed data, calls and texts while in Canada and Mexico

    Free international long distance from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico


    The rest of the world is:

    Unlimited texts

    Unlimited data (at reduced speeds)

    $0.20/min. international calls

    And option for higher speed data

    Most destinations $5/day OR $25/week

    Canada & Mexico $2/day OR $10/week
    #5
  6. Dirtnadvil

    Dirtnadvil Long timer

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    Im headed to Argentina, so I am looking for a cell carrier that will work the whole way down without breaking the bank. Thanks
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  7. aesull

    aesull Adventurer

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    I’ve used both T-Mobile and Verizon throughout Mexico and Central America with decent short-term results. Of course you have to have one of their plans that allow it included. Of those two, I don’t remember T-Mobile having a cap on days used. Though, it can be damn slow. Pretty sure Verizon upper tier plans still have a limit on days, then you get charged a daily amount.

    When I lived in Honduras and Guatemala, I used TIGO prepaid service on an unlocked phone. It definitely roamed fine when I traveled throughout the Central America area. TIGO SIM chips aren’t that expensive - maybe consider that once you’re out of México. Not sure how far south they’d roam from your purchase country (like Guatemala, for instance). But you could always buy a new chip if needed further south and prepay data for it.

    From my experiences using an unlocked iPhone, Claro and Movistar did not work well for me.
    #7
  8. TeeVee

    TeeVee His mudda was a mudda!

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    met a gautemalen gent in nicaragua on monday that could not roam there with his tigo sim from guat. tigo recently purchased movistar in nicaragua, so who knows. in theory, claro is supposed to roam free in all of central america. in theory.

    seems to me that you are either going to pay through the ass for top level roaming with real high speed, or deal with slower connections. i've used tmobile in nica, CR and panama roaming free of charge for data, but it's 2g. super slow for even non-attachment email, so using for nav may be a lost cause.

    if you are adventerous, buy yourself a pixel and get a google-fi plan. supposedly, google-fi has some pretty fantastic features. i would have bought a plan already, but i'm married to apple and the plans for apple devices are still in beta. https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/28/18116333/google-project-fi-apple-iphone
    #8
  9. klebs01

    klebs01 Been here awhile

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    Google Fi has been working pretty well for me in Mexico so far. Lots of fast LTE and only a few areas without service in the mountains.
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  10. Gustavo

    Gustavo Motociclista Errante

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    I have been using T-Mobile for some years now (more or less since they introduced the free Canada and Mexico calls plus free data roaming worldwide). It has worked well everywhere I've been (Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Peru, China, Europe, etc.), significantly cheaper than any of the previous international options I had used before. The limitation once you are outside cities is cell coverage, not really related to which cell carrier you use. There are a lot of places where there simply is no cell coverage (my friends with local phones didn't have any either). To use the phone to navigate, you'll need to preload the maps so the navigation still works. Should be easy to do, you can update the map once every few days based on where you are headed.

    Gustavo
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  11. bmwarabia

    bmwarabia Harvey in Antigua

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    I would get a Mexican sim in Mexico and then use tigo or claro in central America. Sim cards are cheap or free if you go to the official stores. Your phone number changes but no one calls me anyway.
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  12. tam162

    tam162 Two wheel Terry

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    I have a senior plan through T Mobile. Costs about $60 per month for two lines and gives me unlimited data and texting. Voice calls are about .20 per minute and you keep your U.S number where you go. Works well in Mexico, Central America. Only used it in Columbia and Peru in South America but pretty sure it will work anyplace there with cell phone coverage.
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  13. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA

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    AT&T worked great in Mexico - just make sure your plan has the Mexico roaming coverage, I had to change our plan. But then it was awesome, no extra charges. Rode the length of Baja then mainland to Guatemala.

    I got Claro SIM cards for our phones in Guatemala, and they worked with no issues through Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.

    My experience was from Feb-Mar 2019 (Mexico) and Apr-Jun 2019 (Central America).

    Jim
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  14. BvilleBud

    BvilleBud Been here awhile Supporter

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    I used AT&T in Mexico and Bolivia. Mexico was in my normal North America plan, no extra charges for text, calls or data. In Bolivia I was on some plan that cost $10 per day that it was used. When used no extra charge for text, calls, and data. I was about 50/50 for the days in Bolivia. Often there was wireless access and I used Whatsapp.
    #14
  15. Bubwheat

    Bubwheat Long timer

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    Get the Map.me app, download the Mexican maps. And then you can navigate totally off line and save data charges!

    Also, before I left the states I bought a Telcel sim and switched my number over from T-Mobile. And since I had a LTE capable iPhone I just put the chip in and it was seamless, took less than 2 minutes! I have the most expensive plan, $60/ month, no contract, auto pay, no other charges and no data caps, unlimited data and LTE speed. All of the other US based plans limit your data, trust me on this!
    #15
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  16. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial Supporter

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    I’ve found T-Mobile’s Global Plus plan one of the best in the business. It has served me well, allowing me to use my phone exactly as I do at home, without nickel-and-dimeing me, in South and Central America, Canada, China, Australia, Europe, Egypt, and other parts of the world.

    I am almost never without LTE or other cellular service, and it is very often faster than the slow WiFi provided in the hotels, hostels, restaurants, and other public places. (It’s probably a fast connection, but they always use a residential-grade router that can’t handle more than a handful of people at once.)

    It’s just much easier to use than having to screw around with local SIM cards. In fact, on a recent trip to Tibet, the guys that bought local SIM cards often did not have service while those of us who had T-Mobile’s (or another major carrier’s international plan) were up and running and sharing our service through our mobile hotspots with them.

    Here’s a rundown on T-Mobile’s plan. It should be called the “ADVRider Plan.”

    IMG_2093.JPG
    #16
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  17. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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    T-mobile
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  18. JRWooden

    JRWooden Homeless motorcycle vagabond ... and ... loving it

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    If you don't mind my asking ... what are you paying, and what is the name of the plan ...
    On the website I'm seeing something like three "Magenta" plans and that's about it...
    #18
  19. b4thenite

    b4thenite Been here awhile

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  20. kokemill

    kokemill Adventurer

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    Second for Google Fi, learned about it from my kids who used it in Central and South America. We used it in Italy for a couple of weeks. Cost effective and uses 3 US networks for coverage. Big carriers plans are now obsolete and overpriced. 5th generation AT&T, so it seems I'm now the black sheep. Damn
    #20