Thursday, February 11, 2010

On Line Again!

I drew the line at paying the usurious rates for a WIFI connection here at the park. Today PJ, Claudia, Norma and I took a drive to Playa del Carmen in search of a Telcel 3G Card. We found the Telcel store and joined a very long line to see a representative. After about 3/4 of an hour we reached the front of the line and found a rep who spoke English! We explained what we wanted and applied for service. She explained the cost and filled out the paperwork. As a measure to limit the drug cartels ability to communicate over the cell phone network some precautions have been taken. When you apply for service and are not a Mexican citizen, you must show them your passport and allow them to copy it or record the number. This makes it easier to track down people abusing the network and was not a problem for me at all. Whatever I can do to help... I wish everyone had this attitude.

Eventually we were directed to the cashier and paid our $903 pesos which included the hardware and the first 30 days service. Additional time can be purchased as we need it at OXXO stores for (I believe) about $500 pesos ($45 CAN). There is no WIFI at Cancun or at Merida so We will get full use of the card over the next month or so.

She explained to me how to initiate the card with my cell phone and I asked her to do it for me. This was no problem for her and I was glad she did it as it was not as easy as I thought. When we got home I plugged the USB card in and away it went! It installed the software, found a signal and when I opened the browser I was connected! The USB device is actually a tiny cell phone with a SIM card. I am allowed 3 GB up/download per 30 day period. I am not sure how much that is but I will probably be well under it as long as I don't use it to download music or send large photos.


  1. Remember when you called to find out your limits here at home? You apparently use 1GB per month, so you'll be fine with the 3 your service gives you.

    I, on the other hand, can easily go through 3GB a day and would be in serious trouble. :)

  2. For comparative, I am on a Verizon provider using my cellphone. It includes 5GB.
    We are running 2 laptops (checking 2 sets of email, downloading any video jokes we receive, often twice - 1 for him, and 1 for me receiving from the same person, banking, occasional surfing, posting and uploading to my blog, and reading 4 other blogs) and we still only us about 2.5GB per month.
    Rae is right, you should be fine.

  3. We're with the Hughes satellite for our internet. It has a 200 mb per day limit. Is that 6 gb for 30 days?
    This basic plan has 128 kbps upload / 1.0 Mbps download. Not quite good enough for skype, I find.
    Now and then, when I spend too much time on YouTube, we have hit our daily limit, and then we are virtually closed down for a day.
    What happens when you reach your 3 GB?

  4. Hey Croft and Norma. Been following your travels...great posts. This one hit a chord with what Daniele and I were talking about last night. We'd be in MX were it not for my needing to have reliable Email and voice the 1st Qtr of every year. Your 3G card will do the internet thing it seems. Will be anxious to see the coverage you get. Like another poster, I have 5 Gigs yet only hit 3 once and that was because of a lot of graphics stuff.

    I'm guessing SkyPE would eat it up fast? Thus, have you heard of a way of having an affordable voice plan that would permit calling NOB?

    Buy Norma some shoes. Would like to be enjoying a scotch with you and a cigar with Claude. Steve

  5. Croft, another question: from what you wrote, there is no service obligation or set monthly charge? I'm used to VZW where it's %50/ period and you can't turn it off and restart. So, do you just go to Oxxo once a month and pay for the coming month and no problem when you head home? Thanks.