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Data Roaming in Mexico: Which One Should I pick?

Wondering how to get data roaming in Mexico? Find out all about prices, which carriers to use, and what alternatives you have for your trip!

Leoneska Ruiz

June 14, 2024

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If you plan to visit Mexico to get the most out of the many beautiful destinations, such as its beaches and its culture, you need to know how data roaming works in the country. It’s important for travelers to know how to stay connected there and what’s the best way to do so.

So, if you want to use the data roaming service in Mexico, here we’ll give you all the information that you need. We’ll talk about prices, service features, and much more.

eSIM for Mexico

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What is Roaming?

For people traveling, there are different options to stay connected while abroad. One of those alternatives is to use your local operator in a different country, which is basically international data roaming.

Tourist in Mexico using roaming with a phone. Source: Pexels.

But people don’t only get data when roaming abroad. As roaming charges tend to be quite high, aside from mobile data, people can get unlimited calling, unlimited text messages, or limited; it all depends on the carrier and what international feature they offer.

(You may also be interested to know about roaming in Peru)

Roaming rates in Mexico

A fact that many of us know is that international roaming can be expensive, so if you are thinking about whether or not to use this service with your operator, we recommend you do all about the roaming charges you could have.

For Mexico, you can easily spend $10 per day on roaming. However, it will depend on the services your carrier offers, so we will discuss each below in more detail to see how much they charge for cellular data, phone calls, texting, and more. 

T-Mobile

First, we will talk about the international roaming service of T-Mobile, a famous American operator recognized for being one of the best in the country and providing internet in other countries is a key part of their sucess. 

T-Mobile offers its users the possibility to use its roaming services through three different plans, such as Essentials, Magenta, and Magenta Plus Plan. Each of these plans has its benefits. However, the most complete plan with the most benefits is the last one mentioned.

T-Mobile USA
T-Mobile logo. Source: T-Mobile.

You can also use International roaming, but on a pay-per-use basis, which can be more expensive. First of all, you can use data at $15 per MB. In addition, if you want to send messages, each will cost 0.50 USD. 

The difference is that if you receive messages, they will be deducted from your home messaging plan, but if you do not have a domestic text messaging plan, incoming messages will cost $0.20 each. Finally, for each call, you must pay 0.25 USD per minute.

AT&T

AT&T is an American company, so using this operator can activate international roaming through different options. 

First of all, let’s talk about the plan details. AT&T offers its users the international Pass, with which you can have an unlimited internet connection, calls, and messages for only $10 a day. In addition, some AT&T plans allow you to use their services in Mexico and Canada at no additional cost. 

AT&T SIM card USA
AT&T logo. Source: AT&T.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to add a package, you can use the pay-per-use option for international use, with which you can use data, make and receive calls, and send messages, and you will be charged according to your usage. In Mexico, the cost of this option is 2.05 USD per MB, as well as $1 per minute per call and $0.5 per text message. 

Vodafone

In case you are a Vodafone user from Australia or UK, you can make use of international roaming as well. For users from Australia with some plans, you can activate this service in Mexico and pay only 8 dollars a day. 

Depending on the plan you have, you will be able to use limited or unlimited data, including calls and messages for international use. However, you can also use the pay-as-you-go option, paying $1 per MB, $1 per call minute, and $0.75 per SMS. 

vodafone logo
Vodafone logo. Source: Vodafone.

However, if you are a UK Vodafone user, you must pay 7.2 USD per MB. Likewise, the price is 2 USD per minute to make and receive calls. As for text messages, you will have to pay around 1.5 USD for each message sent while you are on an international travel.

O2

Finally, if you are an active O2 user and want to use your telephony services while traveling to Mexico, you can do so with the O2 Travel Inclusive Zone or O2 Travel Bolt option. 

With the first option, you will get a daily allowance of unlimited minutes, texts, and data when roaming. There is no data limit, but the speed may be reduced depending on the data usage.

o2 logo
O2 logo. Source: O2.

With the second option, you can pay a single fixed daily rate that will give you unlimited minutes, messages, and all the data you need. There is no data usage limit, but the data speed may vary. The price to pay for this plan is 7 dollars per day for international use.

How to avoid roaming charges in Mexico

If you think that Mexico roaming is not the best option for your trip, don’t worry; there are many other options with which you can have cellular internet in Mexico. This way, you can avoid the high costs of using your operator’s roaming service. So here we will talk in detail about four options with which you can have an internet connection in this country.

Prepaid International Mexico SIM Card

As a first option, we bring you the famous prepaid physical SIM card. This is a SIM card like the ones you use from home, with the difference that it is specifically for use while traveling to your destination. 

The good side of these international SIM cards is that nowadays, there are many virtual stores where you can buy them. When using these remote providers, you should consider that they have international shipping to your country and guarantee good coverage in Mexico to get mobile internet. They use local operators to support this and provide proper data speeds.

So, you can also expect to arrive in the country and buy directly in the physical stores of the local operators. AT&T Mexico, Telcel, and Movistar are the main options. However, it can be difficult for a tourist to buy them. The reward is that you can find local prepaid SIM cards for 5$ and up to 30$ with data to avoid that daily fee.

International eSIM for Mexico

Unlimited data eSIM for Mexico
International travel eSIM for Mexico with unlimited data. Source: Holafly.

On the other hand, we have another, slightly more innovative option. A few years ago, eSIMs were created, which are virtual SIM cards. They have many of the functions of the standard SIM cards, with the difference that they do not need a physical installation because you can get them and activate them in a completely virtual way. 

With Holafly, you can also get your eSIM for Mexico at lower prices. Since you can enjoy unlimited data for one day for just $6, you probably won’t find a better price for this amount. However, if you are considering purchasing one of these eSIMs, we recommend you first check that your phone is compatible with them. When you discover how easy it is to install them and that you can recharge them with top-ups, you will realize that they are the best option.

Free WiFi:

Another option that can get you out of trouble is free WIFI. Of course, in Mexico, you can find many places with free wifi, either in your hotel, restaurants or even shopping malls. Besides, it is an entirely free alternative since you will not have to pay anything for it. 

However, this will not be the best option to take into account, as it could be a very unstable connection, as well as insecure because it is a free network for anyone. So we recommend you make use of this option only in case of emergencies. 

You may want to know about roaming in Nicaragua

Pocket Wifi

Finally, we will talk about Pocket WiFi, an alternative many group travelers like to use. This is a physical device that works as a WiFi spot and with which you can keep your devices connected to the internet. 

As mentioned above, this device is worth purchasing if traveling in a group, as it is somewhat expensive. Their rentals can range from $60 to $349.99 for the plan only. You must add the costs of delivery, and some companies offer insurance in case of loss of the device because if you do not have insurance and lose the Pocket WiFi, you must pay high penalties. 

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