How to Get Mobile Internet in Mexico for Tourists: What Best Option to Choose?

For tourists visiting Mexico, getting mobile internet in Mexico is essential to stay connected. This guide will outline the different options available to tourists, including data SIM cards and eSIMs, to choose the best way to access fast and affordable internet while traveling throughout Mexico. 

We will discuss factors like Mexico’s mobile internet coverage and speed, available connectivity options, data rates, and why data eSIM may be the top choice for getting mobile internet in Mexico.

using mobile internet in mexico

I. Mobile Internet in Mexico – Coverage and Speed

Three (3) major mobile network providers in Mexico cover most areas: Telcel, Movistar, and AT&T. Let’s take a look at the network coverage and speed of these three carriers.

1. Mexico Mobile Internet Coverage

mexico mobile internet coverage

Mexico boasts extensive mobile internet coverage, with claims reaching 94.5% nationally. However, choosing the best provider depends on your specific needs and location. Let’s dive into the coverage data of major operators:

Telcel:

  • Coverage: Most comprehensive, covering nearly all populated areas with 3G, 4G, and 5G (limited deployment). Strong presence in rural areas and major cities.
  • Advantages: Widest reach, reliable speeds.
  • Disadvantages: Can be pricier than competitors.

Movistar:

  • Coverage: Strong in urban centers and tourist areas, offering 3G, 4G, and some 5G pockets. Coverage in rural areas can be spotty.
  • Advantages: Often offers competitive data packages and promotions.
  • Disadvantages: Rural coverage can be unreliable.

AT&T:

  • Coverage: Primarily focused on major cities and tourist destinations, with 3G and 4G coverage. 5G availability is minimal.
  • Advantages: Often has the most affordable data plans.
  • Disadvantages: Limited coverage outside urban areas, and lower network reliability compared to Telcel.

Our Recommendation: Determining the “best” operator depends on your priorities.

  • For widespread coverage and reliability, Telcel is the leader, especially if venturing outside major cities.
  • For budget-conscious travelers staying in urban areas, AT&T might be suitable.
  • Movistar offers a balance between affordability and decent coverage, but be prepared for potential gaps in rural areas.

2. Mexico Mobile Internet Speed

mexico mobile internet speed

2.1 Nationwide Average Speed Test (Download and Upload Speed)

OperatorDownload Speed (Mbps)Upload Speed (Mbps)Latency (ms)
Telcel24.8110.3343
Movistar22.828.8347
AT&T19.058.3955

2.2 Regional Variations 

Big Cities:

  • Mexico City:
    • Telcel: 34.08 Mbps download, 12.30 Mbps upload, 37 ms latency
    • Movistar: 28.24 Mbps download, 10.12 Mbps upload, 42 ms latency
    • AT&T: 25.14 Mbps download, 9.42 Mbps upload, 52 ms latency
  • Guadalajara:
    • Telcel: 31.24 Mbps download, 11.42 Mbps upload, 39 ms latency
    • Movistar: 26.85 Mbps download, 9.81 Mbps upload, 45 ms latency
    • AT&T: 23.57 Mbps download, 8.95 Mbps upload, 54 ms latency
  • Monterrey:
    • Telcel: 30.58 Mbps download, 11.23 Mbps upload, 41 ms latency
    • Movistar: 27.12 Mbps download, 9.57 Mbps upload, 46 ms latency
    • AT&T: 22.94 Mbps download, 8.79 Mbps upload, 53 ms latency

Rural Areas:

  • Download speeds generally range from 5 Mbps to 15 Mbps across all operators.
  • Upload speeds typically fall between 2 Mbps and 5 Mbps.
  • Latency can be higher than in urban areas, reaching up to 100 ms or more.

Our Recommendation: Telcel is the recommended operator in Mexico. However, for specific regions or budget needs, compare data plans and user reviews of Movistar and AT&T as well.

II. What are Connectivity Options for Tourists to Mexico?

connectivity options for tourists in mexico

When it comes to connecting to 03 big networks in Mexico, you have 03 common options: roaming, using an international SIM card, or relying on free WiFi. Each choice has its pros and cons.

Let’s determine the ideal pick for tourists visiting Mexico:

OptionRoamingFree WiFiInternational SIM Card
SetupAutomaticVaries (may require login)Requires SIM swap (eSIM possible)
ConvenienceNo additional deviceOften readily availableWorks like your home phone
CoverageLimited to carrier networkVaries by locationWider than free WiFi
CostExpensive, unpredictableFree, but potential security risksAffordable data plans
ProsSimple to useWidely accessible, saves dataAvoids roaming charges
ConsHigh cost, potential data limitsUnreliable speed and securityRequires setup, potential compatibility issues

III. Internet Rates in Mexico

internet rates in mexico

Good to know: 1 MXN = 0.05 USD, 1 USD = 17.04 MXN (Feb 2024)

Staying online while traveling in Mexico doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s a quick overview of different mobile internet options and their costs, converted to USD for easy comparison:

OptionDataValidityPrice MXNPrice USD
SIM card Mexico5GB30 days1999.95
eSIM Mexico10GB30 days29914.95
Roaming with Telcel1GB30 days39919.95
Roaming with Movistar2GB30 days49924.95
Roaming with AT&T5GB30 days59929.95
Public WiFiVariesVariesFree (with limitations)Free (with limitations)
Pocket WiFi5GB30 days49924.95

Please note:

  • Prices may vary. Visit the official websites of operators to check accurate costs.
  • Public WiFi is often slow, unreliable, and may have security risks.
  • Pocket WiFi offers convenient portable internet access but can be bulky and require battery charging.

IV. Data SIM Card for Mobile Internet in Mexico

Staying connected while traveling in Mexico is crucial for navigating, staying informed, and staying in touch with loved ones back home. Luckily, several data SIM card options cater to tourists, offering affordable data packages and easy activation.

Leading data SIM cards for tourists:

1. Telcel: Boasts the widest network coverage in Mexico.

  • Amigo Sin Limite: Unlimited calls and SMS within Mexico + 3GB data valid for 30 days – MXN 200 ($10)
  • Amigo Sin Limite Datos: Unlimited data (throttled to 256kbps after 10GB) valid for 30 days – MXN 300 ($15)

2. AT&T: Offers coverage in major cities and tourist areas.

  • Unlimited USA & Mexico: Unlimited calls, texts, and data within Mexico + USA – MXN 399 ($20)
  • Prepaid SIM: Various data packages available, starting from 1GB for 7 days – MXN 99 ($5)

3. Movistar: Provides good coverage in urban areas.

  • Turista Sin Limite: Unlimited calls, texts, and data within Mexico valid for 7 days – MXN 229 ($12)
  • Datos Sin Limite: Unlimited data (throttled to 256kbps after 10GB) valid for 7 days – MXN 99 ($5) 

Note: This information may change over time. Please visit the official websites of these distributors to check.

V. Data eSIM for Mexico – Best Option to Get Mobile Internet for Tourists

eSIM is always the best choice while traveling because of these benefits:

  • Convenience: Skip airport lines and SIM swaps. Activate instantly online!
  • Flexibility: Choose data plans tailored to your needs, with no locked contracts.
  • Cost-Effective: Often cheaper than roaming charges or local physical SIMs.
  • Connectivity: Stay online anywhere, avoiding Wi-Fi dead zones.

Why Gigago for your Mexico eSIM?

gigago mexico esim

While several providers offer eSIMs for Mexico, Gigago stands out for:

  • Unbeatable Value: Enjoy generous data packages at competitive prices.
  • Reliable Coverage: Powered by Movistar and AT&T, Mexico’s largest and fastest network.
  • 24/7 Customer Support: Get assistance anytime, anywhere, in multiple languages.

Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 1 GB for 7 days with $9.90

What is great about Gigago’s Mexico eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $9.90$38.00 . Thus, it does not matter how many Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Mexico, there is always an option for you with Gigago. Buying Mexico eSIM from Gigago now!

VI. FAQs about Mobile Internet in Mexico

How much data do I need when traveling to Mexico?

Depends on usage! Light users (maps, messaging) might need 1-2GB per week. Streaming and video calls require more (5+GB).

Do I need a special phone for an eSIM while I am in Mexico?

Not necessarily! Most modern smartphones support eSIM technology. Check your phone’s specifications to be sure.

What happens to unused data in Mexico?

It depends on the provider. Some offer data rollover, while others might have it expire. Check the plan details carefully.

What are some Spanish phrases for dealing with issues related to mobile internet in Mexico?

Basic phrases such as:
1. Necesito ayuda con mi internet móvil: I need help with my mobile internet.
2. No tengo señal:  I don’t have a signal
3. Mi datos móviles no funcionan – My mobile data isn’t working
4. No puedo conectarme a la red – I can’t connect to the network

VII. Conclusion

Planning a great trip to Mexico with easy internet access can be simple if you understand the tips provided for getting mobile internet in Mexico. If you need help, reach out to us through the official website or the Mexico carriers’ websites for assistance. Have a fantastic journey!