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Enter Telcel América: A Straight Talk for Mexican nationals

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Telcel may not be a household name in the U.S., but it is among the millions of Mexican nationals and Mexican Americans here that grew up, lived or have done business in Mexico. Now América Móvil(s amx) has quietly brought the Telcel brand to the U.S., launching it as one of the many mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) run managed by Móvil’s TracFone Wireless business.

Telcel América, however, will be very different from Telcel Mexico. In fact Telcel’s U.S. incarnation will look an awful like Straight Talk Wireless, another MVNO run by TracFone. For $45 a month a customer gets unlimited voice, SMS and supposedly unlimited data, though I suspect as with Straight Talk, Telcel will probably cut you off if you regularly go over 2 GB a month.

But for $60 month, Telcel will tack on unlimited calling to set international destinations, including both landlines and wireless numbers in Mexico. BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk explains why that’s a big deal:

In Mexico, the 99 million mobile customers dwarfs the shrinking 15 million landlines in that market and those mobile phone customers do not pay for inbound calls. Telcel America will be differentiated by offering Unlimited calling to both mobile and landline. Sprint’s(s s) Boost Unlimited and MetroPCS(s pcs) charge $55/month for their “Mexico Unlimited” rate plans which [are] unlimited only to landline numbers but not the more prevalent mobile numbers.  MetroPCS and Leap(s leap) charge $0.30/minute extra for calls to Mexican cellular lines while Boost Unlimited’s rates vary from $0.20 – $0.28 per minute.

Typically a U.S. carrier has to pay its mobile counterpart in Mexico to connect those international calls, but in this case América Móvil is that counterpart. It has a 70 percent market share in the Mexican mobile market, so the vast majority of these calls would be considered “in network”.

11 Responses to “Enter Telcel América: A Straight Talk for Mexican nationals”

  1. Nelly Hernandez

    El servicio es pesimo se caen las llamadas no siempre logras conectarte a tus llamadas internacionales, y cuando te llegas a conectar a mexico se oye muy mal, te quedas hablando solo la mayor parte del tiempo y el servicio al cliente no es 24 hrs al dia se tardan mas de 2 hrs en contestar y no resuelven tus dudas. Super ARREPENTIDA de haberme cambiado de compania a una compania Mexicana k NO SIRVE PARA NADA

  2. No reception…..signal cuts off right before you cross the international border and the $60 plan offers no roaming in Mexico, ok to use under 30 min. per call once you go over it will cut you off on international calling cell and land lines 5/7 days before payment is due, customer service sucks they average 90 min. for any issues.

  3. Alfredo Ochoa

    The sevice is ok but when it in the moring or night that I guess it when every is calling Mexico of so on some time it that clear sound to talk, and if your going to talk a long time to Mexico moble then it no so go because it ofter so many call it just say ” to call custermer serves” u call and all they give u the run down like they going to help and the they don’t even answer so if u wanted to call Mexico cellphones for a long time just wasting your money but for a little then I guess it ok

  4. wtf

    is this service good or not?
    is it a good deal or not?

    u people talk about how many immigrants or what ever who cares bout that it will always be like that is it a good deal can somebody tell me that theres no borders for love and thats hat this is about

  5. Telcel has unlimited calling to about 40 destinations within “reasonable” means, if you are on it for way too long, you will be cut off. There are other options in the market, let’s take for example, Ultra Mobile, they have a generous plan for $49 / month, unlimited US calling, TXT, MMS, Web (1st 1gb at 4G speeds and then throttled to 3G) and $20.00 of international calling. Telcel, let’s see how long you will be able to sustain your “international promises”.

  6. Alfonso Rindhramtt

    20 million illegals ( Mexicans) …. so no Chinese, Indian, Latin American or rest of the world undocumented live here huh PACO? They are all MEXICANS according to your uneducated post.
    Get your facts right before you even try to offend people and show some respect. A little more reading on immigration and economy or just plain education would enlighten your narrow point of view!

    Thank you!

    Country of origin Raw number Percent of total Percent change 2000 to 2009
    Mexico 6,650,000 62% +42%
    El Salvador 530,000 5% +25%
    Guatemala 480,000 4% +65%
    Honduras 320,000 3% +95%
    Philippines 270,000 2% +33%
    India 200,000 2% +64%
    Korea 200,000 2% +14%
    Ecuador 170,000 2% +55%
    Brazil 150,000 1% +49%
    China 120,000 1% -37%
    Other 1,650,000 15% -17%

    • Ed-in-Mexico

      Carlos Slim’s Telcel is one of the reasons Mexico is so far behind the rest of the world in telecommunications. Its poor service is a drag to the economy and its high rates are a tax to every person living in Mexico. Monopoly doesn’t begin to describe it…

      • Paco Loco

        Even with high monthly charges Mexicans have embraced mobile over land line. With this new service in the US, Slim is targeting the 20 million illegals ( Mexicans) who will now call home for $60/mo.