[Originally posted January 2, 2008]
I've now done a fair amount of research on Cell Service In Mexico. My original plan was to buy a Telcel prepaid SIM for my iPhone when I crossed the border. This turned out to be trickier than expected. I wanted to get out of the border towns as quickly as possible, so I didn't stop there. Then the dealers in San Felipe didn't have SIMs and then I was camping in no-man's land. When I got back, everything was closed up on the 31st and the 1st...
This is how life is in Baja. "Slow down, relax" says the world. I don't think I've heard a single automobile horn yet. It's nice.
Here I am in La Paz and I decide it's finally time to work out the cellphone arrangement. Especially since I was terrified that the dozen-or-so "happy new year" text messages I got cost me a small fortune in roaming fees.
This is the most concise explanation of the options I could find: http://www.mountainwireless.com/mx_roaming.shtml
It turns out that roaming on TMobile isn't so bad, as long as I don't pick up the phone. International text messages are only $0.15 to receive and $0.35 to send. Of course it's $1.50 per minute to talk, but that's easy to avoid. If I had a Mexican SIM, receiving calls would be free but then my US friends would spend a fortune both to call me and to send me text messages.
I'm going to keep my TMobile service. My phone number remains the same, feel free to text message me with impunity. If you want to actually talk, it's best to arrange some sort of iChat during the times I have internet service.
Probably I should investigate Skype.