When América Móvil's launched its Telcel America brand targeted toward the Hispanic community, especially Mexican Americans, six months ago it was a pretty good deal. For $60/month customers got unlimited domestic calls, messaging and data plus unlimited calls to mobile phones in Mexico and to landlines in 37 countries.
Today, Telcel America drastically reduced the features of their Unlimited International Plan. Calls to Mexican mobile phones are now capped at 400 minutes per month and users can only make international calls, including calls to landlines, to 15 unique numbers per month.
The bad news was delivered by email to users yesterday. Today the Telcel America website was updated to reflect the change, which is apparently effective immediately. The new terms are posted in several places, none of which are very obvious. The easiest to find is on the Frequently Asked Questions Page:
"What type of Service Cards and Plans does Telcel America offer?
We offer a $45 Unlimited Plan with Unlimited Minutes, Unlimited Messages & Unlimited Mobile Web Access. We also offer the Unlimited* International Plan for $60, with Unlimited talk, text/ multimedia messages and Mobile Web Access and international calling to over 1,000 destinations including landlines to Mexico and 400 minutes to call mobile phones in Mexico. You will be able to call up to 15 unique international numbers per 30-day period. The 15 unique international numbers automatically reset with the renewal of each service period. With this plan, you will able to send text messages internationally."I can't imagine these changes will sit well with Telcel America customers, all of whom stared using the service no more than six months ago which required buying a new phone or SIM.
Unfortunately there aren't many alternatives, particularly for calling Mexican mobile phones. Currently, the only other prepaid mobile operators that offer unlimited calls to Mexican mobile phones are Straight Talk, NET10 and Boost Mobile. Straight Talk and NET10 are part of América Móvil so I expect that they will soon have the same caps as Telcel America.
Boost's "All Mexico, All Mobiles" plan looks like the best alternative. It's a $15/month add-on to $45/month and higher Boost monthly plans. The Boost plan is a limited time promotion. You have to activate the add-on by June 6, 2013 but can keep it indefinitely as long as your account is active.
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