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BBQ Jones

Jun 7, 2006, 8:37 AM

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Calling to/from Mexico

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I'm trying to figure out the cheapest way to do this. My girlfriend lives in Mexico near Cuernavaca. I live in Georgia. I need advice on how we can call each other without spending a fortune. I'm aware of Skype but she doesn't have high speed internet. Are there any decent cell phone options?

Thanks in advance!
cwood@CasasDelMarPV.com



Rolly


Jun 7, 2006, 8:51 AM

Post #2 of 34 (16351 views)

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Re: [BBQ Jones] Calling to/from Mexico

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Skype will work with a dail-up minimum speed of 33 Kbs -- a good dail-up. Try it and see if it works. Even if she can't use it on her end, you will still be able to save money when calling her.

Rolly Pirate


shoe


Jun 8, 2006, 3:44 AM

Post #3 of 34 (16328 views)

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Re: [BBQ Jones] Calling to/from Mexico

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IM with voice. Cost ....FREE.... for computer to computer voice. Web cam too but you probably need high speed for this. I would try this IM solution as a first option.

Yahoo, Microsoft, and others offer this.

shoe

(This post was edited by shoe on Jun 8, 2006, 3:49 AM)


BBQ Jones

Jun 8, 2006, 7:02 PM

Post #4 of 34 (16290 views)

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Re: [shoe] Calling to/from Mexico

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Thanks Guys,

I will check out Skype in more detail. Not sure about the IM thing. I would like to have more a of a conversation. we were able to to send text messages until I bought a new phone. Stayed with with Cingular even though I am an old ATT customer. As soon as I bought the new phone, no more TMs. Cingular swears is it isn't them (although they deleted my mailbox and password too) and my novia's company says "no problem" with them. All I know know is that we can't TM anymore.

Someone I met met mentioned a product called Packet 8. I'll look at that too.
cwood@CasasDelMarPV.com


johanson / Moderator


Jun 8, 2006, 10:37 PM

Post #5 of 34 (16270 views)

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Re: [BBQ Jones] Calling to/from Mexico

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I'm up in the states right now where there is only dialup. That is not a problem because many of the folks I want to talk to in Jalisco have either Packet8 or Vonage, and all I have to do is call their virtual number usually in the states, sometimes GTA. Right now, those whom I greatly respect think that Packet8 has a slight edge over Vonage. I am not smart enough to know why, but I will take their word for it.

There are two ISPs here in Ajijic, neither ISP works perfectly with VoIP and sometimes whether you are using the Avantel or Telmex backbone (Lagunanet or Prodigy) the calls wont get through. I have a friend with a 1meg/256 kb/sec Infinitum and a 768/768
www.laguna.com.mx connection. A couple days ago he tried phoning me from Ajijic trying each ISP. I guess the backbone traffic was heavy, because neither worked well enough to continue the conversation, and of course when I tried calling from my end we had the same problem. Yet two hours later in the evening when typically internet traffic is less, both ISPs worked just fine.

My point? VoIP is great when it works. But it doesn't work all of the time. So for a backup, I have a call-back service.

To learn more about VoIP you might try going to
www.vonage.com , www.packet8.net , www.skype.com , www.iconnecthere.com etc and start reading.



(This post was edited by johanson on Jun 9, 2006, 3:28 PM)


BBQ Jones

Jun 9, 2006, 4:58 AM

Post #6 of 34 (16260 views)

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Re: [johanson] Calling to/from Mexico

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Great info Johanson! Thanks for the links. I'll get busy reading.
cwood@CasasDelMarPV.com


jennifer rose

Jun 9, 2006, 6:31 AM

Post #7 of 34 (16249 views)

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Call-back service

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Pete, why don't you tell the forum about the call-back service you use?


johanson / Moderator


Jun 9, 2006, 8:12 AM

Post #8 of 34 (16238 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Call-back service

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I wish I could Jennifer. I am NoB for 13 more days and don't have my files here. It's called Global something or another. I have used them for years and don't pay much attention. The service is located out of Florida and works about 99% of the time. I remember last year though, during the Hurricane season, when power and telephone lines were down in Florida, that the system wasn't working. But besides that I have had great service at about 19 to 20 cents per minute, which is much cheaper than TelMex.

How did I choose a call-back system? I simply got a copy of the Guadalajara Reporter, checked the ads on the last two pages of the paper and called an agent, Roland, who happened to have an office in my home town of Ajijic, and have been happy ever since.

Oh and I tried those Samsung Calling cards that are NO LONGER AVAILABLE. They too were great, much but not all of the time, until they were shut down.


Jerry@Ajijic

Jun 10, 2006, 8:07 AM

Post #9 of 34 (16200 views)

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Re: [johanson] Call-back service

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We use the same callback service Pete does. We primarly use Vonage but some times it is not working we use callback which costs 21 cents a min. to Canada. One other thing we use callback for is when we are in the USA. We can call from any phone to any phone.


Rolly


Jun 10, 2006, 8:16 AM

Post #10 of 34 (16200 views)

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Re: [Jerry@Ajijic] Call-back service

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Jerry, you forgot to tell us what the callback service is. URL?

Rolly Pirate


Jerry@Ajijic

Jun 11, 2006, 9:36 AM

Post #11 of 34 (16158 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Call-back service

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Hi Rolly,

Sorry about forgetting to give any helpful info. We have the callback through call4less@prodigy.net.mx . The phone number is 766-0054 and the lady we deal with is Viviane or her daughter. They give very good service. There are two very nice things about the service that we like. One is that we get a number that we can input into any phone in the US or Canada, hang up and immediately the phone will ring and we are "one callback". The second thing is that while we use Vonage almost all of the time we can use callback when away from home or when we are having Vonage problems AND IT DOESN'T COST A THING UNLESS WE USE IT.


Judy in Ags


Jun 15, 2006, 2:31 PM

Post #12 of 34 (16101 views)

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Re: [BBQ Jones] Calling to/from Mexico

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I've been using IConnect for more than 3 years. It works well even without high speed internet. I use the North America 1000 plan which comes out to 1.1 cents a minute to U.S. or Canada. It's about 3.5 cents to Mexico. So, if your girlfriend had the plan in Mexico, she could call you for 1.1 cents and you could call her for 3.5. (I believe that is the correct amount to Mexico.) Once in a while we get cut off while talking or if we begin with a bad connection we just redial and it works well. When I changed to Windows XP I installed version 6 (Beta version) and it probably is a little better than the old 5.xxx, but it still doesn't have a directory, which is a little inconvenient. Good luck!


johanson / Moderator


Jun 15, 2006, 5:03 PM

Post #13 of 34 (16083 views)

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Calling to/from Mexico

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Again. great web page Judy.

There is another great advantage of www.IconnectHere.com and that is, that it allows you to change the compression settings, thereby ensuring that a call will go through when there are bandwidth problems. The band width voice compression levels supported are G.711u/a, G.726, G.729 and G.723.1

If you just uttered "what did he just post?" Just maybe I am not exactly sure either. But imagine changing compression or fidelity characteristics in such a manner as to ensure a good telephone connection at those slower speeds that were breaking up your conversations in the past.

Yes the fidelity might not be as high, but the higher the compression, the greater the chances that your VoIP calls will work at slower speeds.


(This post was edited by johanson on Jun 15, 2006, 5:09 PM)


Anonimo

Jun 23, 2006, 5:26 AM

Post #14 of 34 (16021 views)

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Re: [Jerry@Ajijic] Call-back service

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Quote
We have the callback through call4less@prodigy.net.mx .

Jerry, I've looked for that link, but can't find it on the Prodigy sites, neither prodigy.net nor prodigy.com .



Saludos,
Anonimo


Jerry@Ajijic

Jun 23, 2006, 7:09 AM

Post #15 of 34 (16013 views)

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Re: [Anonimo] Call-back service

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Sorry Anonimo I ledt out a "s". The correct address should be call4lesss@prodigy.net.mx . Vivian's phone number is 766 0054.

Who would ever have thought that she would have 3 s in her address.


bobpratt


Jul 2, 2006, 1:23 PM

Post #16 of 34 (15939 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Call-back service

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In Reply To
Pete, why don't you tell the forum about the call-back service you use?


I have been using a call-back service while in Europe that works great. They list a rate of 10c a minute for GDL (33) phone numbers and 16.5c a minute for elsewhere in Mexico.

If interested, please allow me to refer you as a new customer and get a payback from them; you do not pay any extra.

Just sent me your email address and I'll have then contact you.
----

Bob Pratt
New Orleans


bobpratt


Jul 2, 2006, 1:39 PM

Post #17 of 34 (15934 views)

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Re: [BBQ Jones] Calling to/from Mexico

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For those of you looking for a cell phone, here is a British firm who will sell you a phone that works anywhere in the world for $99. They activate the phone with a British phone number, but you only pay for the minutes you use - there is no monthly charge.

http://www.mobalrental.com/...amp;source=1001XXXXN

My wife got one six months ago for an upcoming trip, it sat itle and there was no charge. The phone works here in the US with Cingular service. She just carried it to AMS, LUX and through out France, and called me from each stop - it even worked in the mountains.

http://www.mobalrental.com/...amp;source=1001XXXXN
----

Bob Pratt
New Orleans


Goody2shs

Jul 22, 2006, 1:55 PM

Post #18 of 34 (15845 views)

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Re: [BBQ Jones] Calling to/from Mexico

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I would like to add one more service. We still live in the US and travelled to Mexico last November. We have a Verizon Wireless phone, cheapest plan, and asked them about Mexico calling capability. They said I simply had to add a feature called "International calling" for $9.99/month plus a normal per minute charge of $0.69. Depending on how much you talk each day, this might be an option. You simply have to dial a code with a * in front on your phone and you are able to speak to anyone from the U.S. in Mexico, or within Mexico. It worked great for us during the month we visited there. We made quite a few calls actually and it turned out our bill was only about $30 or so for that time period.
Also a current promotion, which expires on July 31, 2006, you can subscribe to their International Valueplan for only $3.99/mo. and you are able to call all over the world, so they tell me, and calls to and from Mexico are only $0.49/min.

I would investigate this if I were you. If you are a laptop user, they also have a neat little "mobile office kit" which allows you to connect anywhere with the use of your cellphone using regular minutes of your plan. We found the feature great on a recent trip within the U.S.

Good luck, hope this helps.


Marta R

Aug 11, 2006, 12:09 PM

Post #19 of 34 (15773 views)

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Re: [johanson] Calling to/from Mexico

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So here's a slightly different question. We want some friends in Mexico to be able to call us cheaply, but they don't have/use/like/whatever computers.

If we signed up for a Mexican cellphone, and brought it to the States with us, could they call the Mexican (local to them) number and reach us without having to pay any hefty charges?

Marta


RickS


Aug 13, 2006, 4:31 PM

Post #20 of 34 (15731 views)

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Re: [Marta R] Calling to/from Mexico

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In a word, no.


VSOP

Aug 27, 2006, 10:54 AM

Post #21 of 34 (15654 views)

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Re: [Judy in Ags] Calling to/from Mexico

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I'm really trying to clarify that iconnnecthere.com is the best route to go for dial-up users when calling U.S. to Mexico and vice versa before I give over my credit card info.

Recently I have installed Skype and it seems to work fine in-country, but since I have to buy minutes first, I cannot test it in calling Mexico. Its website does not say specifically that it works with dial-up, which is what I have.

I recall that earlier Esperanza had recommended iconnecthere.com and now Judy in Ags.

I'm wondering if anyone has experience with both, using dial-up.


No hay rosas sin espinas . . .


bola_blanca


Aug 27, 2006, 11:32 AM

Post #22 of 34 (15651 views)

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Re: [VSOP] Calling to/from Mexico

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There are just too many factors involved to make a general claim that one works best. My experience over the years, all in Mexico, has been that they all suck over dial-up when using the computer to call a regular phone in the US, but some days are better than others.


You just have to pay your money and take your chances. Skype Out and Yahoo Messenger with Voice are the cheapest to get started with, 10 bucks I believe, iconnecthere.com I think requires 25 bucks to get started.

"Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach him how to fish and he spends all day in a boat drinking beer."


johanson / Moderator


Aug 27, 2006, 12:34 PM

Post #23 of 34 (15644 views)

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Re: [movingto_nica] Calling to/from Mexico

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I can't remember for sure what I paid IconnectHere many years ago, when I first started using them, I thought it was $ 15 US. When you folks are talking dialup, the most important factor is how fast is that dialup connection? I am not talking about the advertised speed, but the speed at your computer. The farther you are from the ISP, the worse the wiring in your house etc the lower the quality of your connection is likely to be. And when we are talking speeds, we are not just talking about the download speeds but also the upload speeds. Remember the download speed determines how well you can hear the conversation and the upload speed determines the quality of your voice at the other persons end.

So, you could have a very high download speed, which would mean you could hear it all, but if your upload speeds suck, then the person you are calling wont be able to hear you. How do you determine those speeds? Not by looking at the connection speed icon that pops up on the bottom right hand side of the screen when you connect to the internet, but by going to a speed test site like www.pcpitstop.com and checking both the upload and download speeds. If your up and download speeds are in the teens and low twenties, you are going to have trouble using VoIP technology.

And if you have these low speeds, you need to figure out why. Because if your connection with your ISP were perfect, you would be getting higher speeds, often faster than 30 kb/sec. You might have a bad modem which I doubt, or your modem settings need to be adjusted. But chances are greatest that you are loosing signal quality and therefore speed because of the wiring in your house, or possibly because of the quality of the wiring of your telephone company. Have fun trying to figure out where the problem is.

Remember that even with a much faster (high speed or broadband) connection that you will occasionally have problems when using VoIP phone systems, be they IconnectHere, Packet8, Vonage, etc


VSOP

Aug 27, 2006, 1:36 PM

Post #24 of 34 (15637 views)

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Re: [johanson] Calling to/from Mexico

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Thanks to both for the replies and especially to you, Pete, for the explanation and the link. I wondered how you always knew what speed you were connected with! This should occupy me for awhile. Will let you kow what I find out!

Again, ¡Muchísimas gracias!


No hay rosas sin espinas . . .


Rolly


Aug 27, 2006, 2:19 PM

Post #25 of 34 (15630 views)

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Re: [VSOP] Calling to/from Mexico

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"Its website does not say specifically that it works with dial-up, which is what I have."

Actually, it does, but it is hard to find. It says it will work with a 33.6Kbs or faster dialup.

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Aug 27, 2006, 2:24 PM)
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