Travelling to a new country can be daunting, especially if you don´t have an internet connection. You need to look for a public Wi-Fi and end up exposing your gadgets to unsecured networks and prying eyes.
If you´re coming to Mexico, there are plenty of carriers that offer prepaid SIMs for smartphones and tablets.
Telcel and Movistar are two of the big mobile players in the country. But both overcharge for the use of the mobile internet connection; you can get 3 GB for 400 Mexican pesos, or $22 US dollars, as a Telcel “package”, or 250 MB for 200 pesos ($11 USD) as a Movistar top-up, both for 30 days. Expensive.
I won´t tell you Virgin, a relatively new carrier in Mexico, is the cheapest option, but at least you get more perks for your money. The SIM costs $50 pesos, or $3 USD, which you get back in top-up money, and that automatically turns into unlimited WhatsApp messaging. Cash another $50 to make it an even $100 pesos, either online or at a convenience store, and other freebies become available, like Facebook, Twitter, and 500 MB. That´s a $100 MXN less than Movistar and double the MB. The list of packages is broad.
You do need to remember to activate the plan online. Otherwise, you will spend your top-up money and not have enough for a “Rock” package. Virgin used the word to promote one of the best features of its top-ups: unlimited music. That means you can stream music on Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and even TuneIn, for free, without using your MB allowance. (No offline downloads or you´ll burn through your mobile internet allowance.)
A couple of things to keep in mind: the offer is limited to April 15, 2016, as one of Virgin´s representatives told me over an online chat. After that, the carrier may or may not launch a similar promo. Let´s hope the do. If not, it looks like they´re generous with the internet connection. And in case you decide to join, make sure to turn on Virgin´s mobile configuration to start surfing on the go. Here´s the set of instructions in English.
Virgin offers a free mobile app for iPhone and Android where you can keep track of your internet, SMS and call use, as well as your phone credit. I haven´t had the chance to try Virgin´s cellular coverage, but I can tell you it works great in Mexico City. I´m in an area where Telcel struggles indoors, and internet is quite fast.
Just as a reminder that this post is in no way sponsored by Virgin, just glad to help fellow travellers when looking for a low-cost mobile alternative. Did you like this review? Please leave your thoughts, comments, and suggestions below. Thank you for reading eliaspelcastre.com!
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