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Marlayne

Keeping US Cell Phone number

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Moving to Lakeside within the next couple of months and really want to keep my US based cell phone number. Is there any way that I can have a US based cell phone number, with the three digit area code, in Mexico? I would like to avoid having to make people dial the "011-52" before the area code. Does anyone know of any way or any plan that would allow me to do that? Thanks very much in advance!

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47 minutes ago, Tiny said:

It depends on your US carrier.  Some US carriers have "roaming" deals with Mexican carriers. I use AT&T in the US which shows up as TelCel here.  I do not know about other US carriers.

I also have a Mexican phone number with TelCel.  The cell phone I have has two slots for SIMS cards so I have one cell phone, two cell numbers, one US & one Mexican.

 

What make and model phone do you have? Great concept.

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I can't imagine any way to call a U.S. number from a Mexican phone number without dialing the country access code. I have a TMobile plan where I get free roaming in Mexico but people calling me from a Mexican phone still have to dial 011-52 and pay the international rates. When your AT&T U.S. phone shows TelCel it is just roaming on the TelCel network but it is still rolling back to your U.S. plan.

I also have a phone with two SIM cards - a Samsung S7 that I bought on Amazon and had it shipped to my U.S. address. I have a U.S. TMobile card and a Mexican TelCel card but they are two separate plans and of course two different phone numbers.

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This is very confusing for me. An American neighbor who travels back and forth a lot between here and the US uses his American cell phone. He has a lot of trouble making local calls. Like wise if I want to phone him I have to phone his American cell or land line even though he is here. It seems very strange. Should not he get a Telcel sim card to put in his phone when he is here?  

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Way too much info..The simple answer is that it depends who your USA cell phone provider is..If is ATT in the states then there is no problem with your friends just calling your USA # and it will ring here just as it does at home...Plus there is no charge to you or your friends from the states.."However when you initially call them from Mexico you will have to add  001, their area code, and their #..After your 1st connected call their modified #with the aforementioned prefixes  will be remembered and you just go the their contact and the prefix and area code will already be in your phone book for them..Hopefully this answers your concerns..I do not know about other carriers..ie. Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc..

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Thanks. Complicated. How are you to know what carrier they are using?

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3 hours ago, Marlayne said:

Moving to Lakeside within the next couple of months and really want to keep my US based cell phone number. Is there any way that I can have a US based cell phone number, with the three digit area code, in Mexico? I would like to avoid having to make people dial the "011-52" before the area code. Does anyone know of any way or any plan that would allow me to do that? Thanks very much in advance!

Yes, just keep your USA plan and carrier and you keep your US number. However your desire to keep your US friends from having to call 011-52 will make all your local friends here have to call your US number long distance. Only other way is to have either a dual sim phone or two different phones and a US and Mexican carrier.  A US carrier doesn't own any Mexican DIDs and the Mexican carrier Telcel or ATT doesn't have any Mexican numbers to sell you. I have heard it is possible to use a MagicJack here and forward it here to your Mexican cell phone though I have not tried it yet.

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The bottom line is that a U.S. number is always a U.S. number no matter where you are. If someone calls you from a U.S. or Canadian number they dial it without the 011-52. If they call it from a phone number in another country it is an international call no matter where you are - Mexico or anywhere else outside the U.S or Canada.

If you have a plan that connects to roaming services in another country your U.S. number will work but it will still be a U.S. number. Lots of "apples and oranges" in the previous comments - probably including mine. It is actually pretty straightforward.

There are ways to stay in touch but having a U.S. number act like a number in another country is not one of them.

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You can port a US mobile number to a fixed number (including VOIP Companies: Vonage, MagicJack, ooma etc).

The Voice Over IP (Voip) company generally fowards calls to any cell fone via WiFi or cellular data.

Thus in Mexico you can have mexican cell service, and for the small cost of MagicJack etc receive calls made to your US number . . . if in MX or US, with no roaming nor minute charge.

Mexican cell service can cost a fraction of what US cell service costs.

 

 

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On 2018-03-25 at 5:02 PM, REC said:

I can't imagine any way to call a U.S. number from a Mexican phone number without dialing the country access code. I have a TMobile plan where I get free roaming in Mexico but people calling me from a Mexican phone still have to dial 011-52 and pay the international rates. When your AT&T U.S. phone shows TelCel it is just roaming on the TelCel network but it is still rolling back to your U.S. plan.

I also have a phone with two SIM cards - a Samsung S7 that I bought on Amazon and had it shipped to my U.S. address. I have a U.S. TMobile card and a Mexican TelCel card but they are two separate plans and of course two different phone numbers.

I call lots of people from my Telcel phone who have a US number and are in Mexico. I don't know how they have it set up with their provider, but I just dial their number with the + in front of it. With the Sin Limites plan I use, it doesn't matter- there are no long distance charges to me.

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A bit too complicated. Hopefully better arrangements will come along with time and technology.

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Things do change but I have AT&T Mexico.  AT&T is/was partnered with Iusacell, Nextel, Pegaso (formerly Movistar), and Telcel. Roaming out of the United States will have roaming charges. You might check out roaming options from AT&T and consider keeping your US phone for the exclusive use of your US friends.  Also check Vonage option keeping your existing number.  Of course you would have another phone for use in Mexico.  

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 Check with T-Mobile. I know someone here that has the US T-Mobile phones that they can use. T-Mobile and Telcel  work together. 

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24 minutes ago, sm1mex said:

 Check with T-Mobile. I know someone here that has the US T-Mobile phones that they can use. T-Mobile and Telcel  work together. 

Well, as explained before, yes, T-Mobile is partnered with Telcel WHILE one is in Mexico. It works just fine. BUT, the OP is looking to keep their US phone number after moving to Mexico and this, to my knowledge, using a cellphone is not possible. T-Mobile will let one take their cellphone to Mexico but they won’t let one keep it there ‘forever’. This capability is designed for one who might be visiting Mexico and would like to still receive call directed to their US phone number. The only way that I am aware that one can keep their US phone number, and it was explained above, is to port that number to an Internet phone (magic jack, any vonage-like folks, OOMA etc etc) for use in Mexico. But that is NOT a cellphone... it is a ‘stay-at-home’ phone.

 

 

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While still in the US I would suggest you get a Google voice number which will be a US number that you will be able to use anywhere. Once you get to Mexico, it's next to impossible to get one.

YMMV

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It was my understanding that one can only get google voice in the US. And when outside the US, ‘charges may apply’ in addition to using minutes from your cell carrier.  No?

 

 

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I'm not positive but I think you can use it on wifi from anywhere for free, but someone who has it can chime in to correct me if need be.

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Hi Marlayne,

We have phones w/dual slots in case we ever want to have a MX sim in one and a US (or whatever country we want) in the other. So you could find a plan that works and go that route. However, we have found that we rarely use this option since US sim cards and/or cell plans are usually pretty expensive. Instead we:

1. Use only one slot w/Telcel Amigo sin Limite plan which is our main plan for local MX calls & data use. Just before we travel to the US we go online and switch the account to a Sin Frontier plan so that we can use data & make calls in US, MX or Canada at a cheaper cost - we also usually purchase extra data at that time so we don't run out while travelling (because we spend more time looking up directions, using googlemaps, tethering to our laptop to work, etc). When we return to MX we switch back to our Amigo sin Limite.

2. Have a Skype number/subscription for a local US phone number which our friends, family, tenants, etc, use to call us. You can get a local number for anywhere in the world and people calling you from that area do not have to deal with any international calling, or to even know you don't live locally. Includes voice mail feature. Set up your Skype subscription/phone number, then install the Skype app on your smartphone and when someone calls it rings to your phone. Very affordable, easy and seamless. (There's also an option to forward all calls from your Skype number to ring through any other phone number - say to your MX cell number - if you wish. But we found that you can't see Contact/ID of caller or that the call is coming from the US Skype number; if that matters to someone. And we don't have voicemail set up for our MX cell numbers so no one can leave a message that way. We might use this feature if we're in transit or travelling so as to use less data via our regular cell account -- Skype calls do use your data if you're not connected to w-fi - but we don't prefer the forwarding option).

COST 

Total Cost for Telcel use in 2017 for 2 people = $273 (or ~$11.38 USD per month per person)

Total cost for Skype subscription/use of one phone number in 2017: $59.94 USD (or ~$5/mth)

Links to more info:

Telcel account options:  https://www.telcel.com/personas/telefonia/amigo/tarifas-y-opciones#!amigo-sin-limite

Skype Number: https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA256/how-do-i-get-a-skype-number

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Wow, great advice from everyone, thank you all so much! This has been really helpful as we work out our phone arrangements. I am so grateful to have this board as a resource. 

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If you really want to keep that number you probably can do it. You will need to sign up for an Ooma Voip plan.  http://www.ooma.com/telo/

Then you can "port" your number over to that new account. Ours was free, sometimes they charge a fee, sometimes not. They send you the equipment that you connect to your router and to a regular telephone. The only monthly charge for this basic service is the tax on that phone line that is levied by whatever local jurisdiction it happens to be in. Ours is in Texas and costs like $4/Mo. Just like any VOIP service that most Americans have in Mexico. The difference is Ooma has an app that you can put on up to 2 cell phones and it continues to use that same number, not your Mexican cel number. OK, for free you can make calls to the US from that app and the recipient will see your US number. If you want to receive calls from the US to that number you will have to sign up for their enhanced service which I believe costs $20/Mo. If you currently have another VOIP service like Vonage, etc. you can still port that number over to Ooma but the real limiting factor is whether the number you wish to save can be ported. Ooma, or probably any VOIP service, can answer that specific question for you before you commit to anything. If it's possible you keep that number as your home phone number and it will also work on the cel phones you install their app on. I don't pay the extra $20/Mo. to receive calls but making calls works fine. I can always just check my voicemail on my cel which also shows your call "inbox" to see if I have missed any calls and then just return the call. Most of our contacts prefer email or texting so we don't miss very many voice calls that way. Now if Ooma had the ability to receive a text sent to that US number that would be even better but presently that is not possible. Your US contacts will have to use your Mexican cel number to text you or What's App or similar.

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