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What's the cheapest way to call Mexico?
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shifuimam
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Jun 3, 2013, 10:03 AM
 
A friend of ours recently moved to the US from Mexico, and is looking for a cheap way to call his family back home. He used to have a Nextel phone and used push-to-talk, which was unlimited, but PTT has been discontinued with every mobile provider in the US.

Does anyone have any suggestions on the cheapest way he can call Mexico? We have Sprint and are willing to add him to our family plan, but unfortunately Sprint's only option for calling Mexico is $5/mo plus 5 cents a minute. I saw that AT&T has a $10/mo plan to call anywhere in Mexico, but that'd be in addition to a base plan at at least $30/mo.

He doesn't have much money at all, so we're really looking for the cheapest option possible here.

Also: we have unlimited data, so an Android app that can handle this for free or very cheap is an option, too.
     
andi*pandi
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Jun 3, 2013, 10:10 AM
 
Skype?
     
shifuimam  (op)
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Jun 3, 2013, 10:17 AM
 
Heh...his family is poorer than he is. All his dad has is a prepaid cell phone - no landline phone and no Internet access. Texting isn't an option, either; the SMS rates on his dad's phone are astronomical.

You'd think with the number of Mexican immigrants in this country, there would be some decent plans for calling the country. Canada is dirt cheap, so why is Mexico still so overpriced?
     
Atheist
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Jun 3, 2013, 12:45 PM
 
Calling a cell phone in a developing country is generally an expensive proposition. Skype charges 17 cents per minute to call a cell phone in Mexico. If you can get 5 cents a minute with Sprint, that's probably your best bet. I've seen 4 cents per minute advertised for some calling cards but they generally have hidden fees (like a weekly "maintenance" fee whatever that is). You better double check the Sprint rate because there is invariably a different rate for mobile and landline.
     
reader50
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Jun 3, 2013, 12:53 PM
 
Try Skype after all. It's not just for internet calls. It can (for a price) call a landline or cellphone. It routes over the internet into the target country, then becomes a local call as close to the destination as possible. No International toll penalties. Check their rates, if need be with a test call.
     
subego
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Jun 3, 2013, 01:20 PM
 
You can get less than that on a prepaid calling card, but not to a cellphone.
     
shifuimam  (op)
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Jun 3, 2013, 01:31 PM
 
Well, I've done some more research, and it looks like Cricket might be an option if he can afford it - $40/mo would get him a cell phone with unlimited incoming calls, and a Mexican phone number his father could call that would route to the Cricket phone.

And, yes - calling mobile phones in Mexico costs quite a bit more per minute than landlines.
     
subego
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Jun 3, 2013, 01:38 PM
 
What does Skype cost in Mexico to a Mexican IP?

A VPN tunnel into Mexico may be cheaper than the Cricket plan.
     
The Godfather
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Jun 4, 2013, 02:05 AM
 
1. Go to gas station in non-ritzy part of the city
2. Approach the counter. You will see the spanish-funny-branded calling cards between the tobacco and the potency pills.
3. Ask her which one has the lowest rates and connection charge
4. Buy one, scratch the code on the back and follow instructions below.
     
shifuimam  (op)
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Jun 4, 2013, 10:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
What does Skype cost in Mexico to a Mexican IP?

A VPN tunnel into Mexico may be cheaper than the Cricket plan.
His dad doesn't have any Internet access. He barely has reliable electricity to his home.

We're talking REALLY damn poor here.

I've never used calling cards with my cell phone - does it just cost normal minutes or is there some kind of stupid surcharge?
     
Shaddim
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Jun 4, 2013, 10:31 AM
 
AFAICT, we don't pay anything to call Mehico (or Canadia), that's w/ Verizon (FiOS).
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
- Thomas Paine
     
Waragainstsleep
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Jun 4, 2013, 12:10 PM
 
Have you tried standing at the border and talking loudly?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Atheist
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Jun 4, 2013, 01:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Shaddim View Post
AFAICT, we don't pay anything to call Mehico (or Canadia), that's w/ Verizon (FiOS).
I wouldn't be surprised if it's free to call landlines, but I'd bet they charge to call mobile phones.
     
subego
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Jun 4, 2013, 03:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by shifuimam View Post
His dad doesn't have any Internet access. He barely has reliable electricity to his home.

We're talking REALLY damn poor here.

I've never used calling cards with my cell phone - does it just cost normal minutes or is there some kind of stupid surcharge?
No silly, his dad doesn't need to VPN into Mexico, he's already in Mexico.

I'm saying your friend does a VPN into Mexico, gets a Mexican Skype number, and calls dad via Skype.

That's why I'm asking how much it costs to make a Skype call inside Mexico.
     
Atheist
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Jun 4, 2013, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
No silly, his dad doesn't need to VPN into Mexico, he's already in Mexico.

I'm saying your friend does a VPN into Mexico, gets a Mexican Skype number, and calls dad via Skype.

That's why I'm asking how much it costs to make a Skype call inside Mexico.
Skype doesn't work that way. The rates are based solely on the call destination.
     
subego
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Jun 4, 2013, 03:55 PM
 
How does it determine the call destination, via IP?

Edit: so, a Skype call to a Mexican number is the same from everywhere in the world?
     
subego
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Jun 4, 2013, 03:58 PM
 
Isn't all of this Carlos Slim's fault?
     
jmiddel
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Jun 4, 2013, 08:59 PM
 
Sure. Monopolies suck.
     
pwfletcher
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Jun 8, 2013, 08:19 PM
 
Two tin cans and a string ;-)
     
   
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