• Feb

    Internet Service in Mexico: Part 4, telcel (Update)


    Well, I just found out my aircard does have transmission limitations. I managed to burn out a week’s worth of time left in a single night by trying to download some large files (I won’t do that again).

    The other issue has been recharging the chip. I’d previously thought that I had to buy 500 peso cards and do it all at once. Finding those cards isn’t easy, though. You have to go from store to store. Much more common are the 100, 200 and 300 peso cards. In desperation, I bought several of those and when I got back to my apartment, I was determined to try an experiment.

    Here’s the thing. Each card comes with bonus time and although that’s added to the card, you can’t use it if you have a modem. Only the face time on the card is available, which is a bummer. Anyway, I decided to do a test usng a 200 and a 300 peso card, to see if by adding time that way, I would be able to get my month’s worth of time.

    As per usual, I swapped the cards in my phone, then went to add the time. As I quickly discovered, you only have to phone in once and since the sytem repeats itself, you can enter multiple codes from different cards to build up your time, which I did. I then sent the activation message and "Boom," within a minute, I had full activation for the month. Sweet.


    I wanted to update this particular post, partly because of some complaints about how the system works and to give a couple of options.

    In one comment, a reader was really upset with the pay as you go option for telcel, claiming it was too expensive and complicated. Well, it is if you use the pay as you go approach, but if you go for a plan you no longer have to take those steps of recharging your chips and the fee will be lower.

    Another option, if you have an Apple iPhone is to use “tethering,” where you turn your cell phone into a modem and access the Internet that way. If you want to use that option I recommend that you contact your Apple dealer and get him/her to help you.

    In order to make it work you might have to “jailbreak” your phone, which apparently voids the warranty. Still, if you choose this option you’ll have more flexibility with your phone.

    The last system that was brought to my attention is the Hughes Net satellite Internet system. According to one user, it’s a good a sliced bread, but there are a couple of caveats about this system. It’s not good for video, nor voice over IP (VOIP). A better choice is to use a land line.

    The reason that Hughes isn’t good for VOIP is because of the delay in beaming information to a satellite and back again. Have you ever noticed the delay when an announcer is speaking to someone on the other side of the world and there’s a pause after the question and then another pause after the reply. This is due to speed of light delay. That’s improved a bit with technology, but there’s only so much that can be done.

    Questions? Write to me.

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    UPDATE: Courtesy of John

    ref your blog “Internet Service in Mexico: Part 4, telcel (Update)”

    Not sure which kind of pay as you go phone you have with TELCEL, but I can recharge my phone ON-LINE thru the telcel website . Sign in using your phone number and password on the first page. Then click on the link under “Servicios” select “Tiempo Aire con cargo a Tarjeta de Crédito”.

    You can then add pesos using your credit card and you get regalo money added too.

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