What About Cell Phones at Lake Chapala Ajijic ?

August 7, 2008

I recieved a question from Deanne today asking if there’s a fee to call a cell phone from a land line in the Lake Chapala Ajijic area when using the “045″ access code.

 Cell phones / land lines and telephones in general in Mexcio can be a maze of confussion.

So, let me share my limited knowledge on the subject hoping to draw others into the discussion. 

 You can buy a cell phone here like in the USA for around $40 USD and then just buy telephone cards.

 The cards have an area that you scratch off to reveal a code. You enter the code into the telephone or let the clerk do it for you.

  Tel Cel
The telephone is now loaded with so many minutes depending upon the value of the card you purchased. The cards are usually sold in 100 Pesos increments.

 These phones can only be used with time purchased on the cards. You can’t use these cell phones if you decide to convert to a monthky paln of some type. You must use a different phone.

 Other cell phone options are like in the USA. You choose a plan and pay a monthly fee. The plans are numerous and often include so called free time in evening hours, weekends, etc. like in the USA.

 Some USA cell phones work or can be made to work here in Mexico. Some have a card or chip that can be removed and a card… chip inserted to allow it to work here in Mexico.

 Tel Cel is the largest cell firm in Mexico and is also has the highest cost on average per mintute from what I‘ve been able to learn.

 They have about 80% of the cell phone business in Mexico and I hear they are owned about 80% by Tel Mex (the near monopoly now mostly owned by Carlos Slim).

 Let’s see hummm “What’s wrong with this picture?” “Are you telling me that the largest cell phone firm in Mexico has the highest fees?”

 Yes, it just shows you the power of constant advertising.

 I use Movie Star for my cell firm which gives me excellent service at a fair price with rates lower than Tel Cel. I use it all the time, Day, Evening, Night and my bill runs between $23 to $50 USD per month.

 A really neat feature I like is that Movie Star doesn’t charge extra for long distance anywhere in Mexico.

 Note: All the cell phones in the Lake Chapala – Ajijic area use Guadalajara numbers.

 This means that if you use Tel Cel when you are in the Lake Chapala Ajijic area and want to call a local hard line phone it will be a long distance call. (The phone thinks it’s in Guadalajara so to speak).

 Since I use Movie Star (owned by a large firm in Spain) and since I get free long distance calls when I make a call to a local hard line phone in Chapala or Ajijic it is a long distance call but I’m not charged long distance, so for me it’s the same as a local call.

 I just pay for the calls I need to make when ever I need to make them. I don’t worry about plans.

Sorry, I don’t reallly know just what I pay per minute. It really doesn’t matter since I feel like I’m using the oowest cost firm for my situation.

I must use a cell phone for work and I often need to make local calls when away from home and I have family living in Guadalajara and other places in Mexico.


 Oh, my Movie Star phone works just fine all the way to Dallas and all the way to Argentina and Chili in South America.

I saw a lot of big Movie Star signs while in South America so got the idea they may have a lot of market share there.

In Dallas my phone screen reads T – Mobil. No doubt the cost per minute may be high using it out of Mexico, but when you need it, you need it right ?  

Now to call a cell phone from a land line in the Lake Chapala Ajijic area or anyplace else in the Mexican State of Jalisco you dial an access code “045″ and there’s a fee attached, Sorry, I’m not sure what the fee is. 

Previously when using a land line (hard wired telephone line) from the Lake Chapala Ajijic area you were charged a long distance fee to call Guadalajara cell phones as they have Guadalajara numbers.

I think the fee with the new system of using “045″ is less than the previous long distance fee associated with calling a cell phone from our area.

Now this is “how I understand it”.

I invite comments from folks who have a better grasp of the local cell providers and making calls between cell phones and land based hard lines.

  • http://Idonthaveawebsite Lynne

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! Everything on this site is outstandingly wonderful! I rarely use that ‘wonderful’ word due to the overuse of it. Words that would honestlly reflect how much I benefit from ‘finding’ your site escape me at the moment.
    I feel I’ve visited with an old friend. Thank you for all the effort. Writing style is great.

    If this is written in the wrong place, please change it or delete or ?
    Just couldn’t stay silent since I enjoy it so much!

  • Sid

    WOW ! Hi Lynn. You made my day. I may not be able to get my trade mark baseball style cap off my swelled head for a long time.

    I get most of my business from the website or from referals from clients I’ve already sold a home or lot to.

    I even get referals from people that bought their home here originally with another Realtor. I just do my best to treat folks like I would want to be treated if our roles were reversed.

    With your opermission I may use your very kind words in ads to introduce the site and myself to others.

    Thanks again. Of course I look forward to helping you determine if our area might be right for you so send me a private e mail any time you want to at elsidmx@yahoo.com.

    Thanks again. Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZPTSU77JRZZAJCATJRBAOFXKIU marines b

    Hi Sid, I fully agree with Lynne. This site is my favorite for Lake Chapala matters. When is your book coming out?

  • http://www.facebook.com/SidGrosvenor Sid Grosvenor

     HI Marines,

    Thanks for your kind words. I’m doing my best to get it out in the first quarter of 2013.

    Of course I’ll announce it here first when it’s offered for sale. Will try and dream up
    a cool bonus for members of http://www.ChapalaaClub.com

    So, please stay tuned. Tu amigo, Sid

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