Elias Pelcastre

Thoughts on Telcel 4.5 GigaRed and Unefon mobile options for Mexico

First, let’s talk Telcel’s relatively new 4.5 GigaRed. I tried the superfast mobile network for a month and can say it delivers; I got speeds of up to 60 megabytes per second, which is excellent.

The problem with Telcel is that you end up paying a lot for every megabyte you consume. Yes, the mobile network covers most of Mexico, so even if you travel to a secluded place, you may get a signal.

But to save my data, I had to install Samsung Max on my Galaxy S8; I tracked everything I did while using the mobile network, and that is no fun. You obsess over every app you open.

I spent 300 pesos; 100 for the SIM and 200 for a top up, all for less than 1 GB of data. I treated my megabytes like digital gold and winded up not using my mobile internet very often.

In case you’re interested in GigaRed, it is compatible with the iPhone X, iPhone 8 Plus, and the Galaxy S8, among others. You will also need a 6.0 or above sim card.

Unefon unlimited

On the other hand, Unefon is much more accessible. For 10 pesos a day you get unlimited data. (Unlimited texts and calls are also perks, but who cares, right?)

It only supports 4G speeds but works pretty fast. Right now I have 30 megabytes per second, which is not too bad. The “unlimited” offer has its caveats, though; you get 10 GB a day at full speed, and after that, the rate lowers to 3 Mbps. (The next day, the full speed is resumed.)

I had to buy a SIM for 100 pesos, and then switch to the Unefon 2.0 plan on the right side menu of the app to start using the all-you-can-eat deal. Just top up 10 pesos to activate it.

And if putting in 10 pesos a day is too troublesome, you can top up 70, 150 or 300 to keep the data unlimited for seven, fifteen and thirty days, respectively.

I haven´t experienced any trouble using Unefon. You can stream music and videos but also download them to your phone, which is cool in case you want to save on battery, as 4G will drain your phone. That said, you can, but are not supposed to, tether your network. (I tried it on my iPad but works slow, FYI.)

I am planning to watch the opening game of the World Cup tomorrow to truly test the #ayce service. I also have to try how Unefon’s network fares outside Mexico City, so I’ll keep you posted.