May 25, 2005 10:53 PM   Subscribe

Will my East-Coast American cell phone work in Mexico?

My fiancee and I will be traveling to Mexico this summer. Her plan is Cingular and mine is Sprint. Are we going to have to rent new cellphones when we get to Mexico?
posted by Jon-o to Technology (7 answers total)
Call your cellular provider and ask.
posted by trevyn at 12:07 AM on May 26, 2005

Sprint did not work at all for me in Mexico.

In fact, I went with 6 people, none of whose cell phones worked. Among us, we had AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and possibly Cingular represented.

But, like, we were...umm... on vacation? So we didn't, y'know, care?

Also, what Trevyn said.
posted by dersins at 2:57 AM on May 26, 2005

If your fiancee's Cingular phone is a tri-band "world phone" that covers 1900 MHz, you will probably be able to use it by getting a prepaid SIM card that'll work in Mexico. Their world phones are almost always unlocked, so you can put any ol' SIM card in depending on where you are. If the Cingular phone is not a tri-band, you're out of luck, especially with your Sprint phone, as it's CDMA instead of GSM. Check out this poster to see where in Mexico you'd be able to use a GSM phone. In any case, the HowardForums is probably the place you'd get the best information on this. Search their forums for Mexico and see what comes up.
posted by zsazsa at 6:32 AM on May 26, 2005

In theory, if you have a GSM-compatible phone and your provider will turn on GSM service for a month (T-Mobile does this, or at least used to), you can use your phone there.

In practice, this only sometimes works. If it is mandatory that you be reachable, you're probably safer to rent or maybe buy a cheap prepaid phone there.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:41 AM on May 26, 2005

My AT&T Motorola V60 worked there a few years ago.
posted by Coffeemate at 6:56 AM on May 26, 2005

If your Cingular is a tri-band phone, as they say above, you can have Cingular allow international roaming with your current SIM chip. It appears that roaming it Mexico through Cingular's roaming agreement with their GSM provider is $0.79/min. See Cingular's page on Mexico and page about international roaming. It includes a link about how to activate international roaming.
posted by skynxnex at 8:04 AM on May 26, 2005

Too late to switch plans? I'm now on the North America plan from Verizon Wireless, and it covers both minutes from the US to Canada/Mexico, as well as minutes from within any of those countries. It's slightly more expensive, but as someone with immediate and lots of extended family in all three, and a summer which covers all three places, it's worth it to me.
posted by fionab at 9:41 AM on May 26, 2005

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