Cell Phone Service in Each Country
We were originally going to go with T-mobile, but a couple of months before we left the states, they changed their contract terms. The newer terms say that if you are out of the country for more than a month then they will automatically suspend or cancel your service. We decided the best way to ensure that at least one of us had coverage everywhere was to have two different plans. I ended up trying out Google Fi's new cell service, and Sunny went with a local cell phone provider in each country. I will add more about the coverage experience I had with Google Project Fi soon, but overall it has been a good service provider. I got their best phone at the time, the Huawei Nexus 6p (also it takes great pictures, especially at night). It ended up being cheaper for Sunny to get a local sim card in each country, but Project Fi was easier to deal with because I could easily switch providers on the fly, without having to get a new sim card in each place we were in.
Local Cell Service Providers in Each Country – updating this list as we go
(this list is not comprehensive, its just what we have used)
- It was easy to get a sim card for both the phone and computer (USB Stick).
- The service was ridiculously cheap compared to what we were used to in the states and it was pretty reliable throughout Mexico.
- Recharging is easily done through the website or at any telcel kiosk.
- Most of their plans include free data for facebook use and anything done thru whatsapp, texts or calls, is also free.
- I almost never spent more than 30 USD per month and I’m online a lot.
- Mexico has other, less popular cell services – Tigo, Claro, Movistar and Amigo, which have service in remote areas that Telcel does not but the large network of Telcel and ease of use made it the best choice for us.
BTL - www.belizetelemedia.net
- Belize only has one service option for a sim card that doesn’t require you to buy a new phone – BTL.
- It was easy to get set up, you just have to find a BTL office which existed in most of the towns we visited.
- You have to register with your passport to get the service. Its a government regulation.
- The service itself wasn’t all that reliable and is a little bit confusing in how funds are applied to data vs. calls.
- Although we were glad to have the service, we ended up relying mostly on wifi sources in towns – cafes, campgrounds, etc.
TIGO - www.tigo.com.gt/
- Guatemala has a few phone service options but this one is by far the best and most consistent throughout the country. It was easy to get both a phone sim card and computer usb stick.
- Very easy to setup. Go to any tigo centre de atencion and you will be set up in minutes.
- Cheap and reliable.
- Easy to refill from either the website, the app or any tienda with a tigo sign (EVERYWHERE)