Feb 16, 2008, 12:18 PM
Post #1 of 14
Hi all. We're moving to Mexico from the U.S. in about a month on a VERY tight schedule. I know there are lots of cell phone threads, but I need to make a decision as soon as possible and don't have lots of time to research. Thanks to raeferguson's article, I think I know what I may need. (I've never owned a cell phone in my life....so apologies for my ignorance on the topic.) I'll explain my needs/situation.
Help me choose a cell phone plan/solution (please)
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--While in Mexico I will be working for clients based in the U.S. I also have a business partner in Boise, who I wiil need to call frequently.
--I freelance, and often work under very tight deadlines and quick turnarounds, and need to be completely available and responsive
--I need as close to bullet-proof telecommunications as possible
--I need a US Cell Phone plan, as I can't expect them to call a Mexico #.
--I work from home via the internet and telephone exclusively
--I will have SKYPE. This will work for communications with my biz partner, but I need backup redudancy, and also can't expect my clients to necessarily have SKYPE.
--I'm pretty sure I could get a SKYPE "in" US number, and that would work great. But if the internet goes down, I'm dead. Plus, sometimes the connections are a bit wonky, and can't expect clients to endure that.
--I will also, of course, need a phone to make calls within Mexico.
We don't know where we are going to live in Mexico yet. Our plan is to head to the Lake Chapala area in late March, rent a place for a month or more, so we can gradually - and easily - take care of all the transitional logistics we may not have gotten done during our fast exit from the U.S. (House sold in four days....thought we'd have a lot more time for this.)
--Wherever we rent in the interim, I will get high-speed internet, as I need that for work. Again, Skype will be fine, but I need backup.
--After checking out the Lake Chapala area, we will either decide to stay for several more months, using it as a base to explore other areas of Central Mexico. During all of the above, I will need to remain available for work as much as is realistically possible.
I *think* my best bet is therefore to get a US based cell phone plan from either AT&T / Cingular OR T-Mobile, with a GSM phone. Then I can buy SIM cards from Telcel once in Mexico for calls within the Republic. Does this sound correct?
If so, does swapping out the SIM card effectively turn the cell phone instrument from one number (the US Card) to another phone number entirely, a Mexican # via the TelCel card? I'm assuming it must. So I will primarily keep the US card in the phone since it will be my work number, and whenever I need to make a Mexico call, just change the cards out. Then put the US card back in when done with the local call.
I'd love to hear any feedback from you all as to this plan, and if it's solid or stupid? If the approach sounds right.....is there any reason to choose AT&T/Cingular versus T-Mobile, or vice versa? I assume either is fine and depends upon which offers the better deal based on what my calling patterns are?
If it matters, we currently live in Seattle.....but not for long.
THANK YOU SO MUCH for any guidance. Because I need to give existing and future clients a new phone number, I'm trying to get it nailed down asap.