Understanding Mexican Telephony System

Mexican telephony system is not much different than the one in USA and Canada.

How to dial in / to Mexico:
To dial to Mexico from USA and Canada: 011+52 (country code) + ??? (3 digits area code) + ???-???? (7 digits phone number). Mexico City, Guadalajara and  Monterrey have 2 digists for the code and 8 for the numbers, although you end up dial the same number of digits.

To dial to USA and Canada from Mexico: 001+  ( 3 digits area code)  + ( 7 digits phone number)

Fix line Providers:
There is almost a monopoly by  Telmex (Telmex.com.mx) as the only nationwide fixed phone line provider. Other companies are only regional, like Axtel (Axtel.com.mx)

Cell Phone in Mexico
There are two mayor contenders, the leader Telcel (Telcel.com, owned by Telmex) and Movistar (www.movistar.com.mx) they both offer prepaid service, which is the most used among Mexicans and minute plans.
Telcel has better and bigges coverage although Movistar has cheaper deals.
Nextel www.nextel.com is increasing is coverage in the Mexican territory and it is available in all middle size to big cities.

Mexican Phone Book & Directory.
Most Mexican cities have their printed phone book bilingual in English or Spanish, specially the Yellow Pages. The official site for the Yellow and White Pages is www.seccionamarilla.com.mx.


Options to  regular Telephony in Mexico
Free Internet Phone Calls / Internet Telephony / VoIP

Regular phone service is Mexico is extremely expensive specially if using a hotel line. Fortunately nowadays there are several options that are very cheap, if not free, to make phone  calls from Mexico to the world for visitors and seasonal residents:

Option 1.- Bring your own cell phone.- Most USA cell phones from brand name carriers (Sprint, Verizon, etc) work fine in most Mexican cities. The con is that phone calls can be expensive due the roaming and that they only work in limited metro areas. Ask your company about the per minute cost for roaming in Mexico.

Option 2.- VoIP.- Is the abbreviation for Voice over Internet. This becoming the most popular way for traveler’s telephony or seasonal  residents of Mexico. There is  a big number of companies offering this service and they mostly offer the same at basically the same rate. Well known companies are Vonage, 8x8, Callture, etc (check the links in this page). They give you a small device that you just plug into any fast internet connection (at your house, cyber café, hotel or hotspot) and to a regular phone. You will have a regular phone line and your same phone number wherever you are ! Prices ranges from $9.99 to $24.99 for unlimited calls to USA , Canada and most European countries.

Option 3.- PC to Phone telephony. This service also is VoIP service but you need to have a computer where you connect the headphone and microphone and download a software (Sofphone) to make and receive phone calls. Calls are free or almost free (ridiculous prices, like 1 cent per minute to North America & Europe). The most well know companies are  Skype, Net2Phone, Cordia, etc. This option is for the ones traveling with a laptop that don’t want to be tied to a fixed plan. Quality is not as good as option 2.

Option 4.- PC to PC communication. This option is always free. You use a software (Google Talk, MSN, MS Messenger, AOL Messenger, etc) where you add your contacts that uses the same software and you can talk to them using headset if they are available online at the same time. The inconvenience of this options is that you can call them only if they are connected at the same time as you are.

Option 5.- Phone Cards. This is the best options for those who need to make very few phone calls but be careful, some companies claim very cheap per minute deal but the could charge a very high conection price.

Didnt find what you were looking for? Try Google !

VoIP.- Technically speaking, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) uses Internet Protocol (IP) to route voice packets over an IP network. IP is simply a large group of specifications that define how data is transmitted over a data network. A data network does not require a constant connection like phone lines do so they tend to work more efficiently. By using VoIP, voice can be transmitted across any type of IP network such as the Internet, an intranet, or a LAN. Simply speaking, VoIP is a simple and inexpensive way to make and receive phone calls using your Internet connection rather than your standard phone line. We convert your Softphone calls into data that speeds through your Internet connection, arriving at the other end sounding like a regular phone call.
Most VoIP companies provide the features that normal phone companies charge extra for when they are added to your service plan. VoIP includes:

  • Caller ID
  • Call waiting
  • Call transfer
  • Repeat dial
  • Return call
  • Three-way calling

There are also advanced call-filtering options available from some carriers. These features use caller ID information to allow you make a choice about how calls from a particular number are handled. You can:

  • Forward the call to a particular number
  • Send the call directly to voicemail
  • Give the caller a busy signal
  • Play a "not-in-service" message
  • Send the caller to a funny rejection hotline

With many VoIP services, you can also check voicemail via the Web or attach messages to an e-mail that is sent to your computer or handheld.