Cell Phone Information for La Ventana, Baja Sur, Spring 2015
Around Christmas 2014 Telcel installed a 3G system on the towers in Los Planes. This makes 3G an option for voice and internet which was not available before. Movistar has some limited availability at some of the higher elevations also but again the coverage comes from Los Planes and is not nearly as good as Telcel.
What do I need to get connected?
You will need an unlocked cell phone. As of the spring of 2015, cell phone companies are required to unlock your phone with certain conditions. Telcel uses GSM so T-Mobile and AT&T phones will work if unlocked. Verizon sells most new phones unlocked but their older ones ran on CDMA only, which is not well supported in Baja. If your cell phone provider will not unlock your phone, you are not out of luck. There are people on eBay that will unlock a phone for around $35. They will need the IMEI number and within 24 hours your phone is factory unlocked. It is now legal for anyone to unlock their own phone through one of theses services. This will not change your current plan in any way.
How or where do I get a Sim Chip?
There are lots of places to get a Sim Chip but getting one directly from Telcel
is probably the best because you want to choose the Amigo plan. This plan has a number of advantages when
buying minutes (which will be covered later).
The Telcel store in the Mega parking lot in
What wil a Sim Chip cost?
The cost of the chip is just over a 100 pesos. This translates to about $7.50 in US dollars. That will change with the exchange rate.
What should I know about the process?
You stop at the front desk and tell them you want to buy a Sim. They will ask you if the phone is unlocked. If you say yes, they will assign you a number. When your number comes up you will go to a counter. You tell them that you want a Sim and they will ask again if the phone is unlocked. They will want to test this so the attendent often takes the Sim out of their phone and puts it into your phone. If it works they will ask you to pay at another counter and then come back with a receipt. Make sure they know you want the Amigo plan.
Things to do before you leave the Telcel office.
They often test the phone with a voice call. They often do not test data. Open your email or some other program that uses data and make sure it works. If it does not they will take it to a techinical person who may have to change some settings.
How do I put money on the account?
There are at least 4 ways to put money on the
account. You can put money on your
account while you are still at the Telcel store. You can sign up for a MiTelcel
account where you enter your bank card.
This is probably the best solution as you get the most for your money
and you do not have to go back to the Telcel
store. You can put money on at most any
small food store in
How often do I need to add money to keep my phone number?
This is hard to answer. In the past it was about 3 months but there is a new law that states that you should be able to keep the number for a year. Using MiTelcel it is easy to add 50 pesos to the account every 2 or 3 months and this will keep your account active.
How much money should I add?
The Amigo plan has tiers and the best calling
plan is a little less than 2 pesos per minute call to
How do I purchase more Data?
Once you have money on your phone, you can purchase more data by texting a code to 5050. The amounts and codes are listed below. The best deal is alto30 which gets you 3GB for 499 pesos. It lasts one month and any data that you do not use is lost.
High Usage Plan
Validity MB / GB Price Code
1 hr. 100 MB$ 12.00 alto1h
1 day 150 MB$ 49.00 Alto1
2 days 300 MB$ 79.00 alto2
7 days 1 GB$ 199.00 alto7
15 days 1.5 GB$ 299.00 alto15
30 days 3 GB$ 499.00 alto30
Medium Usage Plan
Validity MB / GB Price Code
1 hr. 30 MB $9.00 medio1h
1 day 50 MB $29.00 medio1
2 days 100 MB $59.00 medio2
7 days 400 MB $99.00 medio7
15 days 1 GB $229.00 medio15
30 days 2 GB $339.00 medio30
Low Usage Plan
Validity MB/GB Price Code
1 Hr 10MB $5.00 bajo1h
1Day 30MB $19.00 bajo1
2Days 50MB $39.00 bajo2
7Days 200MB $59.00 bajo7
15Days 600MB $199.00 bajo15
30Days 1GB $299.00 bajo30
How do I know how much voice and data are left over?
In the past Telcel charged you to find out. The new law made this a free request. You dial *133# and they will report as a message on your screen the amount of pesos on your account and the ending date. They also give you your Regalo amount which is the free internet and SMS. If you have purchased a data plan, they will show how much is left.
Will LTE work?
This depends on your phone. Telcel uses band 4 so you have to check to see if your phone supports it. The Verison iPhone 5 does not support this band.
How do I connect my laptop or my tablet?
Telcel supports the hotspot feature on most phones. You turn on the hotspot feature and then find it on the laptop or tablet WiFi page. You will have to enter a code that is listed on the phone. This allows up to 5 or so computers and tablets to be connected at one time. You can purchase a data SIM for some tablets but putting more data onto the plan can be an issue. A cell phone running a hotspot is much more vesitle.
Verified SIM chip information
iPhone 3 Version 5
iPhone 4. Version 5 cut down
iPhone 5. Verizon 6.2 LTE