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Mexican Telephone, TV and Internet Information

Cell Phones... 101 - When a resident loses a cellphone, they call TelCel or MovieStar and "freeze" their number. They are then given a code; which they later give the salesperson... when purchasing a replacement phone. The only thing that is lost are their saved phone numbers, the minutes or pesos are forwarded to the new phone. "The Telephone Book Correction Page" at cannot and will not add any new numbers. I am only able to correct legitimate errors in the newly-published book. Please understand and educate your friends on how to SAVE their cellphone numbers! Appreciatively, - Jan Piere

MORE ABOUT PHONE CALLS FROM THE U.S. - I just wanted to let you know that to dial a landline, you do NOT have to dial a "1" before the area code. To dial a cell phone, you DO have to dial a "1" before the area code. We tested it using a US phone. The cell phone info was also included with your January or February TelMex bill. Janice Kinne

BAJA BELL UPDATE - Wireless Internet Access in Pescadero BajaBell is in Beta testing and is up and running. If you are currently receiving a signal, stop by Paraiso California after the Holiday to sign up. If you can't receive a signal, there is still a very good chance that you could connect with an external antenna. Contact Bill at 612-132-4710 or bill ( -a t- ) - Scott Cole

I would like to add to your comments about the new Telmex billing system. To call long distance from the US (or other foreign country) to a Mexico cell phone you now need to dial 011+52 (country code)+ 1+area code+number. For example my number would be 011521612145-0050. If you are calling from the states to a Mexico land line, the "1" between the "52" country code and the area code is omitted. You would dial 01152612145-0050. Of course this is a big problem since people may not know whether your phone is a cell phone or land line.

People should also know that this new system is called "El que llama, paga" Which translates, "He who calls, pays". With the old system both the person placing the call and the cell phone owner receiving the call, were being billed for the cell phone costs. Now only the person placing the call is billed, so you will notice on your next bill that your calls to cell phones are more expensive. Hope this is helpful. - Elena

800 Numbers - Could someone please remind me how to call a 1-800 number in USA such as my bank. It used to be 1-880 and then the number leaving off the 1-800. Is this the same? Thanks much. Sherry Lee Duncan - sherry Lee Duncan, sherryleeduncan ( -a t- ), 612 128-0606


Sherry, to dial 800 xxx xxxx numbers in the US, you dial 001 880 xxx xxxx (the seven-digit number following the 800 area code). Note that you may be charged for the call at International calling rates. Here are some other 800 number substitutions:


1-800 = +1 880

1-888 = +1 881

1-877 = +1 882

1-866 = +1 883

- Baja Western Onion

North American Plan - Is it a myth? Does it exsit if so please give me a call. Need to find a more affordable way to communicate with my Doctors. Thanks. Kevin - Mary Vineyard, mary.vineyard ( -a t- ), 6121321792


Hi Mary, if you're referring to Cingular's North American plan, it's no longer available. Cingular discontinued this plan in 2006, reportedly after experiencing quite a bit of fraud in Mexico. Verizon also had a similar plan named North America's Choice but is has been discontinued as of May 2007. Account holders who had these plans before the cutoff dates still have service under the plan.

As an alternative to cell phones, many people in Mexico are now using Internet telephone services to call the US for around 3 cents per minute. - BWO

Errors In The New Phone Book - Between the occasional compliment there are some unhappy findings... It is my hope that you will visit and update your own personal Phone Book with the CORRECTIONS I am posting there. You may also email me from that site to have your change or correction posted. When the Calendario returns this Fall I will run a small Ad directing residents to the correction site. My humble apologies... - Jan Piere, jans ( -a t- ),

06-10-07 Excessive TelMex Charges - I noticed a 20 peso charge for digital services on my monthly TelMex bill and called to find out why I was being charged this as I never ordered this caller id , and buzon message service and something else and was told no prob just call a number and cancel which I promptly did. When you get a new phone they give these services for free for 3 months what they don't tell you is that you will be billed every month thereafter for 50 or 70 pesos or more. I don't have anew phone, they just started charging me and never informed me of anything. Many people in Baja have people paying their TelMex bill so they don't even know what they are paying for I , for one , don't want to make Carlos Slim any richer that he is as he is now the second richest man in the world so heads up! Karen Rutkowski (Courtesy, Baja Pony Express)

ONLINE GRINGO TELEPHONE DIRECTORY - The ONLY online Gringo Telephone Directory serving Baja California is now a 100% FREE Service!! To get listed, just choose one of the two links:. For Residential Listings: For Business Listings: To lookup someone, just go to Be sure to read the online articles, check out the artists page, classifieds, maps and other information available. - Kathy

HIGH SPEED INTERNET ACCESS OPTIONS - I have a second home in the historical district in Todos Santos and would like to install access to high speed internet. Can someone provide a list of the options and an assessment of their reliability? Thanks much, Cathryn ( -a t- )


As far as I know, there are three ways to get high-speed Internet here in TS.

  1. DSL Service is available through TelMex if you have a telephone line and number installed. You will need to go to La Paz to order it. Be sure to ask for the wireless DSL modem ("inalambrico"). Normally, they won't offer it unless you ask. It's more convenient, especially if you or your guests have a laptop computer. There are four "levels" of service; each with higher up and down speeds. Bundled with your telephone bill and other services, the basic 512/128 kbs service runs about $50 per month. DSL is generally limited to within a couple of miles from town. This is the most cost-effective route, generally works well with occasional slow downs, and will support Voice Over IP telephone (VOIP) calls to and from the U.S.. At times, DSL service has been intermittent in some areas. TelMex will deliver the DSL modem to you, sometimes the same day you order it. Once you receive the modem, you will need to install it or have someone install it for you. It's relatively easy to install.
  2. Satellite Internet systems from HughesNet or Starband. These require a satellite dish installed outside. In addition to equipment costs of $1,000 and up, there is a monthly service charge starting at $50. There are also various levels of service available. These systems will work anywhere but can be impaired by bad weather. There is also a noticeable delay when using VOIP but it does work. Newer, more powerful satellites have recently improved the service available in Baja. This may be the only solution if you live outside of town.
  3. Share with your neighbors. You might find that a neighbor who already has high speed service and is willing to share the access and/or cost. Wired or wireless access can be installed to allow multiple users. You may even find there are already wireless signals in your neighborhood that don't require an access code to connect to them but it's always best to ask first before simply logging on to someone else's wireless system. The available bandwidth is shared among all the users, and can get bogged down depending on the number of users. - Alan, alan ( -a t- )

CINGULAR RATE CHANGE IN MEXICO - Just saw this on Cingular's website. Important Rate Changes to Mobile Numbers In Mexico. Mexican Mobile carriers are imposing new costs to call their customers. Thus, effective 12/1/06, your calls to mobile numbers in Mexico will incur a new surcharge of $.17/min. You will see only one per-minute price on your bill for any calls where this surcharge applies. The rate for calling a Mexican Landline will remain unchanged. Visit for more information.

(Courtesy, Baja Pony Express)

RE 044 AND 045 DIALING CODES - The 045 only applies on long-distance cell phones. For example, If you are in Los Barriles and you are going to call a cell phone in La Paz, you have to dial 045 612 and cell number. But if you are in Los Barriles and you are going to dial a Cell phone from Los Cabos you must dial 044 624 and the cell number. So you only use the 045 to the cell phones out of you local area. - Juan Tapia.

VONAGE ALLOWED TO CONTINUE SIGNING NEW CUSTOMERS - Per an article appearing in an earlier issue of the BWO about available VOIP services, it was mentioned that Vonage was not accepting new customers. Last Tuesday, April 25th, an appeals courts decided in Vonage's favor to allow them to continue signing new customers while awaiting the outcome of their appeal of the decision in a recent patent infringement case brought by Verizon against Vonage. One worry is that, if Verizon prevails in this case, they will then sue many other VOIP providers in an attempt to quash their much smaller competitors. Read More Here. - Alan


Editor's Note: The following information is reprinted from The Baja Pony Express. Peter and Linda Enticknap of Cabo Pulmo wrote the BPE to ask about other computer-based Telephone over the Internet (VOIP) services that will work with a Satellite Internet system after it was announced that CrystalVoice, a popular, computer-based VOIP service, would discontinue service. They received several responses, which were then republished in the BPE. Please note that responses were specifically about using VOIP over satellite. Information may or may not apply to users of TelMex DSL service.

I checked to see if information in one response was correct that Vonage is not taking new customers. Vonage is currently accepting new customers. However, they are operating under a temporary court order allowing them to continue accepting new business while awaiting a court decision later today.

I can also confirm that SunRocket will not work with satellite but Skype and Vonage will work provided you have a good satellite connection. Please note that ALL VOIP services over satellite will be subject to at least a 1/2 to 1 second delay because of the distance to the satellite and back. - Editor, Baja Western Onion


(Peter and Linda Wrote) On August 1st Crystal Voice Live will go away. We have used them for two years to make VOIP Internet calls. Any suggestions on options? Google Talk only works PC to PC. Skype? How do they stack up for calling a land based phone? Suggestions and your experience with alternative VOIP providers is appreciated. - Peter de Cabo Pulmo lindaypeter ( -a t- )

Many thanks for your advice on VOIP service. Note: Many VOIP providers require special hardware and DO NOT work with Satellite Internet (i.e. highly rated SunRocket). Below are responses to share with all BPE subscribers.

  1. I see that Vonage is not taking any new customers. Others say Packet 8 is good but the line always sounds bad from those who call me from the East Cape on this system to the U.S. - Mary
  2. We have both Skype and web phone, we find web phone to be far better all around, it costs 1.9 cents a min. - David W.
  3. We tried Skype (we have a satellite connection) but it would drop us if they were really busy. We called and ask why? They told us that their system wasn't designed for our type of system. So we went with netVoice. netVoice, computer to computer is free. IF you wish a phone number then it is $4.95 per month; first 100 minutes free then about 2 cents a minute thereafter. Our computer phone rings just like a real telephone. If the computer is off then the call goes to voice mail. If you have a dial up service then Skype may be better for you. - Betty
  4. Skype didn't work well for me with my 6000 sat HughesNet system. Reception was broken up at the other end. Yahoo has a similar system and its inexpensive. Let me know how it works if you try it. - Ralph
  5. Skype is probably your main option for PC-based VOIP. Vonage will work directly with HughesNet without the need for the computer but you may want to get the latest HNS7000S modem, get reprovisioned on SatMex-6, and raise your service level to Professional or Small Office level. - Alan
  6. We have been using NetZero Voice 100 for many months and it is working well. It is better than Crystal Voice (CV) because it will give you a number in any area code you choose. Voice mail. etc. If your computer is on it will ring in just like a phone. $3.95 month for 100 min, then about the same as CV. 2c per min. It also has a satellite setup like CV. - Don
  7. Try I use this with my daughter in Germany. It is free for jajah to jajah computers and 2 or 3 cents to someone who isn't. To keep the service going you and your partners need to use the service at least once every two weeks. - Kris
  8. Skype works great, most of the time (80-90%), 2.1 cents/minute to land line phones, free computer to computer. Just download the software and send in 10 Euros (about $13) through Pay Pal. Its all on the Skype website. Buy a USB headset for better quality calls, or you can buy a regular handset to use. - Sid
  9. Skype works for me. - Ed
  10. Several neighbors here in Cabo Pulmo have used Skype and report success about 70-80% of the time with HughesNet (6000S modem and headset). Seems HughesNet often works best in the am on SatMex-5. Several report very slow connection speeds with SatMex-5 (even with 7000S modem and upgraded account) especially late in the day. - Peter
  11. Vonage warns of potential bankruptcy VOIP provider Vonage has warned in a regulatory filing that its intellectual property battle could bankrupt the company.
  12. We use Skype and it works perfect 99.9% of the time. Calls to any phone in the US are about 2 us cents a minute. Skype computer to Skype computer is free. You may need a headset for your computer. - Cheryl

Peter and Linda....thank you for taking the time to put this info together and sending it to the BPE. - Cheryl

Courtesy, Baja Pony Express

DISH NETWORK LOCAL CHANNELS - As you may know, many Dish Network customers in Baja have been having trouble receiving "Distant Local" Networks, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX. First, Dish Network lost the right to distribute network signals from LA and NY to 1,000s of customers. Then last week, they moved the LA locals to spot beams only visible in the LA area. The remaining NY local signals may disappear next. As of today, this is what I know about a potential way to regain the networks for Dish Network:

Through a recent arrangement, AllAmericanDirect ( is able to provide the Local Networks from San Francisco and Atlanta through the Dish Network receiver. These signals are available here in Baja. Customers with addresses in SF or Atlanta, or with remote addresses throughout the US apparently qualify to receive these distant locals, but customers with addresses in LA, NY and most other addresses around metropolitan areas, do not. This means that many customers will need to shift their "physical" address to the SF or Atlanta area, or have a rural address that qualifies. An alternative is to get an RV Waiver, which AAD offered to help submit through them. That process takes 30 to 60 days to receive approval.

The cost is $2.50 per month per network, or $9.00 per month for all 4 networks. You will receive both the SF and Atlanta feeds for each network. AAD bills customers for 6 months in advance; or $54 for all feeds. They do not need to have your credit card info repeated to add the locals to your Dish Network receiver. They apparently have Dish Network's database and are able to cross reference your account by telephone number and/or Dish Network account number. You will receive a separate charge on your monthly credit card statement from AllAmericanDirect.

Many Dish Network customers will be able to make this switch on their own, or you can contact me if you need more info or help. - Alan, alan ( -a t- )

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