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best sim card mexico

The 10 Best Mexico SIM Cards in 2022

Author: Anthony Lee

Phone & Tablet Expert

best mexico sim card

Traveling to Mexico and looking for a Prepaid SIM Card? We will tell you how good the coverage in Mexico is, which providers you can choose from and where you can buy the cheapest SIM card in Mexico.

Even on vacation, most cannot completely do without the Internet. Be it for a few WhatsApps from Mexico to your home country, for reading news or maybe even for video streaming. In this guide, we provide you with the most important information about mobile internet in Mexico and about Prepaid SIM Cards to use the internet abroad.

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Are you looking for an alternative to SIM Cards? We compared the best Pocket WiFi’s.

Telcel - Mexico Prepaid SIM Card

Founded in 1989 in Mexico City, Telcel is now the leading mobile internet provider in Mexico. It provides internet coverage to more than 90% of the Mexican population and has established itself as a reliable internet service provider – both locals and tourists.

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AT & T is one of the top top providers in Mexico. Best network coverage is guaranteed here. In addition to a super network, a wide range of stores is available for any technical support. The employees help with the set-up or, in the event of a defect in a SIM card, can exchange them (partly) free of charge. Unlike many other providers, AT&T relies on a world-class user experience. This includes above all the technology used for the transmission of data and the HD Voice technology.

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T-Mobile is the third-largest mobile internet provider in the USA providing internet service in Mexico, too. Originally from Germany, T-Mobile is now operating in more than 30 countries. T-Mobile is known for its great coverage across countries and word-class customer experience.

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Cellhire - Mexico Mobile Sim

Cellhire might be less known than the other companies mentioned here but they are the leading supplier during events (FIFA World Cup, Olympics, Tour de France and many more). With the headquarters in the United Kingdom and many across offices across the glove, Cellhire has itself established as a major internet provider. The Mexican SIM Cards offered by them provides a great value.

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OneSimCard - International SIM Card for Mexico

When it comes to international SIM Cards, we definitely cannot overlook OneSimCard. This international mobile service providers offered Prepaid SIM Cards for more than 200 countries worldwide. They allow free incoming calls from 162 countries. So if you need to enjoy mobile data service in Mexico and would like to be able to receive calls, then OneSimCard is the right choice for you!

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KeepGo - Free Roaming SIM Card for Mexico

You may have not heard about KeepGo before but this company is an official partner of Vodafone, Telefonica and AT&T.  The SIM Card provided by KeepGo is valid forever – without any contract! If you need to use internet in Mexico, you simply upload some credit and off you go. It is the most convenient option available if you are traveling to Mexico several times per year.

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FAQ - SIM Card Mexico

Where can I buy a SIM card for Mexico?

You can easily buy SIM cards in supermarkets in Mexico. The most widespread mobile operator in Mexico is Telcel. This provider has a small shop in practically every mall in Mexico where you can buy a SIM card or top up your credit. You will also find many Telcel shops in the city centers.

You can buy SIM cards in supermarkets, so-called “OXXOs”, more easily than in a Telcel shop. These supermarkets are the same as “7Eleven” in the United States. In any case, you will find an OXXO practically on every corner in Mexico, where you can buy your SIM card.

Can I buy a SIM card in Mexico at the airport?

Whether you can buy a SIM card at the airport upon arrival in Mexico depends on the airport where you land. Because if there is an OXXO at your arrival terminal, you can also buy a SIM card there directly, otherwise not.

Mexico City: The airport in Mexico City is the largest in Mexico. Accordingly, the arrival terminal for international flights is quite large. Here are some OXXOs and 7Elevens. You can buy SIM cards in both supermarkets.

Cancún: If you want to go on vacation in Yucatán, you will probably fly to Cancún. The arrival terminal for international flights is significantly smaller here than in Mexico City. It is quite possible that you will not find an OXXO here and you will not be able to buy a SIM card at the airport. 

After your purchase, check immediately whether your SIM card is activated. The best thing to do is to try it out right away. Call someone or go online.

Can I buy a SIM card from home?

If you prefer to buy a SIM card for Mexico before you leave, you can do that too. However, you will not be able to buy a SIM card from Telcel or Virgin Mobile. There are mobile phone providers who offer extra SIM cards for stays abroad. T-Mobile and AT&T offer such international SIM cards for Mexico. You can easily order such a SIM card via Amazon.

However, it is the case that Telcel, Virgin Mobile and also every other Mexican mobile operator offers better conditions than the providers of foreign SIM cards.

Mobile Internet in Mexico

As always while traveling abroad, outrageously high costs are incurred for mobile data or phone calls. Therefore, there are two options: Buy a local prepaid card in Mexico or expand your current mobile phone contract with special packages.

Three major mobile operators in Mexico are available to purchase a Prepaid SIM card: Telcel, AT&T, and Movistar. At this point, we could list all the internet packages of the three providers. However, the Telcel network is superior to the other two by miles. Telcel provides the most passable network, especially away from the big cities and tourist centers. In terms of price, there are no big differences between the three providers.

The SIM Cards are available directly at the airport (usually more expensive) or in shops of the mobile phone providers. These small stands are often found in malls. You don’t even have to show a passport when you buy it. You buy the card like a bottle of water in a supermarket. It is recommended to activate and test the card in the shop right away.
If you don’t want to buy a prepaid card in Mexico, you can buy a temporary roaming package of your existing contract. There is no need to buy an extra SIM in Mexico. However, this option is almost always more expensive than local SIM Cards and also offers less data volume. We do not recommend that option.

How good is 4G LTE coverage in Mexico?

Since our round trip from Mexico City has led us to Cancun via numerous intermediate stations, we can report in great detail here:
The network in Mexico is surprisingly well developed. 4G coverage is not an issue in the big cities of Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca, Tuxtla Guitérrez, San Cristobal, Palenque, Campeche, Mérida, Valladolid and of course the holiday cities Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Everywhere there is a great reception. All major Mayan and Aztec sites are also supplied with 4G LTE.

Smaller cities also almost always have 3G or 4G reception, albeit noticeably slower. The main traffic highways are also well supplied. It gets more interesting in small villages and more remote parts of Mexico. In particular, the extreme south of Mexico from San Cristóbal to the El Chiflón waterfalls and further north to the Agua Azul waterfalls is partially poorly or not at all supported. There may be no reception for an hour while driving the car. This can be annoying if you have to find a supermarket, the nearest gas station or a hotel / Airbnb apartment at short notice. If in doubt, it is always worthwhile to make Google Maps available offline before you leave home.

Internet via WiFi in Mexico

Almost all hotels, cafes and restaurants offer free WiFi. However, the speed fluctuates considerably. It is usually sufficient for browsing, but often not for watching videos. It depends on where you are. Local cable networks in Mexico are often only well developed in large cities such as Mexico City, Merida and the holiday resorts of Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun. In more rural regions, the connection speed is considerably less.

VoIP & WhatsApp calls in Mexico

In Mexico, there are no restrictions regarding Voice over IP (Internet phone calls) and WhatsApp calls. You can make calls anywhere in the world via WiFi or with a Prepaid SIM Card, without incurring any additional costs apart from the consumption of the data volume.

How do I use Whatsapp in Mexico?

To use Whatsapp in Mexico, you need the internet. This can be WiFi or a mobile data network. Since you don’t have WiFi available everywhere, you need a SIM card to use a mobile data network. As you saw in the previous sections, SIM cards from Telcel and other major internet providers include mobile data packages. In short: You need a Mexican SIM card to use Whatsapp in Mexico.

If you swap your current SIM card with the Mexican SIM card, the number of your Whatsapp does not change. In Whatsapp, you can still be reached with your current mobile number. However, if you want to be reachable with the Mexican mobile phone number via Whatsapp, you have to adjust the mobile phone number in Whatsapp.

How do I use Whatsapp in Mexico?

Open Whatsapp on your smartphone and click the options icon. You will see the three dots on the top right of the screen.

  • Click on “Settings”.
  • Click on “Account”.
  • Click on “Change number”.
  • Follow the instructions


If you have completely followed the instructions, you can now be reached in Whatsapp via your Mexican mobile number.

Alternatives to make phone calls in Mexico

Telephone booths with a phone card

An option is to use the telephone booths that are found everywhere in Mexico, especially at airports and bus stations. You need a phone card (tarjeta telefónica or tarjeta Ladatel) that you can buy at kiosks, shops, bus terminals, etc. – just look for the blue and yellow Ladatel sign. There are cards with 20, 50 or 100 pesos credit. One minute to Europe costs the equivalent of about 20 pesos (about 1.15 dollars), local calls only about 1 peso/minute. Long-distance calls (at home and abroad) can only be made at appropriately marked telephone booths (labeled “larga distancia”).

Telephone booths with calling cards or credit cards

There are also a few phone booths where you can make calls using a credit card or a calling card. However, these are not as widespread and e.g. at bus stations. Long-distance calls with calling cards are relatively cheap. A little more expensive, but an option for “frequent travelers” is the option (similar to that of calling cards) to have a chip installed on his credit card, which you can then use to make calls anywhere in the world. Before doing so, be sure to ask the credit card company about the costs!

Telephone booths (casetas de telefónico) with coins

Mostly in the town center and on the main roads, there are sometimes telephone booths where you can make calls without a phonecard, i.e. with coins. However, these are significantly more expensive. Fun fact: faxes can also be sent there.

Restaurant or hotel

Of course, there is also the possibility to use the telephone in facilities such as hotels or restaurants. Compared to the other options, however, this is the most expensive option.

Internet cafes

A great alternative is also Internet cafés, which can be found on almost every corner in Mexico. The hour usually costs between 0.50 and 4 dollars. In many cafés, PCs are now equipped with a camera and headset, so that you can also use Skype, for example.

Since Mexico is only an emerging country and that the country is facing enormous problems, the mobile phone expansion – especially the 4G standard – is progressive. In a nutshell: Just buy a Telcel SIM and you are well covered for up to a month of vacation in Mexico.

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Last product update on 2022-09-29 | Source: Amazon Affiliate