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1/22/2020 12:12:56 PM
Posted: 1/7/2015 12:10:10 AM EST
I travel to Mexico frequently lately and wish to bring an unlocked Iphone 5 to be activated and kept there for when I visit. Being technology challenged I'm not sure if I need a certain kind or where to find best pricing for a NIB.

I have relatives who do the same and bring an extra phone to be activated there.

Any help with what I should look for? Best deals? I don't like using Ebay and Craigslist.
Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 12:18:20 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/7/2015 12:19:44 AM EST by CLICKBANGBANG]
AT&T have a minutes plan if it's just trips. If you have a US plan, you can put 80 min on for $30, or 200 min for $60. If you down there a lot, get a Mex plan. If you are going to leave the phone there, I would just get a phone and a Mex plan when you get down there.

I've lived there for two years, my brother got back last year after a two year stay. My dad is there now. We get around I guess.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 12:28:57 AM EST
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Originally Posted By CLICKBANGBANG:
AT&T have a minutes plan if it's just trips. If you have a US plan, you can put 80 min on for $30, or 200 min for $60. If you down there a lot, get a Mex plan. If you are going to leave the phone there, I would just get a phone and a Mex plan when you get down there.

I've lived there for two years, my brother got back last year after a two year stay. My dad is there now. We get around I guess.
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Yes my plan is to leave the phone there and get a Mex plan. I more want to know if it matters if the phone is unlocked or not to start with? It'll be used by family down there when I'm up here.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 12:44:29 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Spagehttie:


Yes my plan is to leave the phone there and get a Mex plan. I more want to know if it matters if the phone is unlocked or not to start with? It'll be used by family down there when I'm up here.
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Originally Posted By Spagehttie:
Originally Posted By CLICKBANGBANG:
AT&T have a minutes plan if it's just trips. If you have a US plan, you can put 80 min on for $30, or 200 min for $60. If you down there a lot, get a Mex plan. If you are going to leave the phone there, I would just get a phone and a Mex plan when you get down there.

I've lived there for two years, my brother got back last year after a two year stay. My dad is there now. We get around I guess.


Yes my plan is to leave the phone there and get a Mex plan. I more want to know if it matters if the phone is unlocked or not to start with? It'll be used by family down there when I'm up here.


To start with, you'll need a factoy phone. As F'd up as Mexico is, their cell network is just like it is here. If you walked into AT&T or Sprint up here with a jail broke phone, you might have an issue with getting everything set up. The data network down there sucks outside of the larger cities. If you are around Guadalajara or Mex City it is fine. But in the rural areas it is spotty at best. Sometimes it's easier to just run with a cheap flip phone, and use a computer when you're by one. I've left all of my iPhone's locked.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 12:46:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 1/7/2015 12:49:52 AM EST by RacerX330]
You can buy an unlocked iPhone in the apple store. It's no problem. Just ask, and tell them what country so they give you the right one. Done.

buy your SIM Card in mex, and do your plan there. easy.

ETA: since you don't like Ebay or CL you're pretty much out of luck unless you are buying NIB, in which case you will pay full retail.

Locked means the carrier under which the contract was sold has locked the phone so that it will not function with a SIM card from ANY other carrier.

This is to prevent someone buying the phone on discount, ending the contract early (paying the early term fee) and using the phone somewhere else.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 12:57:58 AM EST
So it doesn't matter if it's a Verizon, AT&T etc. phone? As in I can just forgo looking for an unlocked phone and just buy one?

I know how the network works down there. My family has old phones they brought from up here to down there and had them changed to a Mex plan. The area where we are gets decent service from the Mex plans. I don't want to buy an IPhone down there because they cost about $850 to $900 brand new there.

I appreciate the info but my question was in regard to the phone specifically, whether or not it matters if it has been activated here or is from a carrier and so on. Sorry if I didn't make my question clear in my original post.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 1:01:13 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By RacerX330:
You can buy an unlocked iPhone in the apple store. It's no problem. Just ask, and tell them what country so they give you the right one. Done.

buy your SIM Card in mex, and do your plan there. easy.

ETA: since you don't like Ebay or CL you're pretty much out of luck unless you are buying NIB, in which case you will pay full retail.

Locked means the carrier under which the contract was sold has locked the phone so that it will not function with a SIM card from ANY other carrier.

This is to prevent someone buying the phone on discount, ending the contract early (paying the early term fee) and using the phone somewhere else.
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Thanks that answers my questions. I've seen people bring their old phones down there (from a carrier) and set up with a mex plan. Any idea on how this happens?
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 1:19:19 AM EST
The phone has to be unlocked. Your best bet for an iPhone 5 is used. There's a good site called swappa.com which has some buyer protection. No affiliation with them just heard good things. If the network down there is GSM then the AT&T model is likely the best bet. You'd have to look at the bands each model of phone supports. Verizon iPhones are GSM unlocked but again it depends on the network and specific model of phone. Each newer version of iPhones have gotten better in regards to network support to where the current iPhone 6 is the same between AT&T, TMobile or Verizon.

If you buy a locked phone it won't work with any other carriers. In your shoes I would get a Verizon iPhone 5S since they have better GSM support than the iPhone 5 and are about $300 used in good condition. All Verizon iPhone 5S's are GSM unlocked out of the box. The 5S also fixed some of the hardware issues the 5 had like bad batteries and buttons, has a much better CPU, and as mentioned better GSM support.
Link Posted: 1/7/2015 10:31:52 AM EST
Like another poster suggested I'm going to buy one without a SIM card from Apple. Prices aren't too bad. Thanks for the replies.
Link Posted: 1/19/2015 9:07:15 PM EST
[Last Edit: 1/19/2015 9:09:38 PM EST by RacerX330]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Spagehttie:
So it doesn't matter if it's a Verizon, AT&T etc. phone? As in I can just forgo looking for an unlocked phone and just buy one?

I know how the network works down there. My family has old phones they brought from up here to down there and had them changed to a Mex plan. The area where we are gets decent service from the Mex plans. I don't want to buy an IPhone down there because they cost about $850 to $900 brand new there.

I appreciate the info but my question was in regard to the phone specifically, whether or not it matters if it has been activated here or is from a carrier and so on. Sorry if I didn't make my question clear in my original post.
View Quote


Yes, the carrier matters, because different carriers in different countries, use e.g. Mexico (Movistar LTE Band 2) AT&T in the US LTE bands 2 and 4. So an unlocked AT&T phone should work on Movistar's network. Assuming LTE coverage is what you desire.

iPhones cost the same (in USD) everywhere, excluding some eccentric freight charge.

The answer to your question is very dependent on whether or not the phone you are attempting to use on another (assuming compatible) carrier's network has been unlocked.

If the phone is locked, that means it is locked by the software on the phone, by the carrier it was originally activated with, which means you can put all the different SIM cards you want in it, but they will not work, except for the SIM from the original carrier.

Carriers do this to prevent subscribers from buying a phone at a price subsidized by the revenues over the life of the contract they signed, and canceling that contract and attempting to use that phone on another network without paying the termination fee or paying for the full price of that phone.

A locked phone is completely worthless on any other carrier's network save, the carrier that locked it.

What you need is an unlocked phone (any model) that is compatible with the carrier you'd like to use oversees or Mexico. You get a SIM card from that carrier, put it in your unlocked phone, and they will activate that device on their network (activate not lock).

You may then take that SIM card out, and put a US SIM card in (from a US Carrier e.g. AT&T) and use it on AT&T's network.

The phone must be unlocked. You can purchase unlocked phones retail, just make sure to ask if you can use this phone in X country.


Sorry for the delay I was away for a few weeks.
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