AT&T Mobility's (NYSE: T) GoPhone prepaid customers who are on the carrier's $60 plan will soon get unlimited calling to Mexico. The addition of the calling option is the latest step AT&T has taken to make calling to Mexico more seamless, especially for its prepaid customers, following AT&T's purchase of wireless assets south of the border.
Starting Feb. 20, customers on AT&T's $60 GoPhone plan will get unlimited calling from the U.S. to Mexico. Also, AT&T is increasing the amount of high-speed data GoPhone customers can get. Customers on the $45 plan will receive 1.5 GB of data before throttling (up from 1 GB before) and customers on the $60 plan will get 4 GB of data before throttling (up from 2.5 GB before).
The GoPhone calling option covers voice calls from the U.S., Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands to Mexico. The addition of the unlimited calling to Mexico option comes a week after AT&T's Cricket prepaid brand added unlimited calling to Mexico for all of its $50 and $60 plans. The Cricket option includes long distance voice calls from the U.S. to Mexico only.
AT&T has completed its acquisition of Mexican wireless carrier Iusacell and plans to take control of NII Holdings' Nextel Mexico business too. Combined the two Mexican wireless carriers have around 12.2 million total subscribers. The deals will also give AT&T around 100 MHz of total nationwide spectrum in Mexico. AT&T plans to spend several years deploying LTE in Mexico and integrating its footprint in the country with its U.S. network.
Following its recent deals, AT&T has said it plans to create what it has dubbed the first-ever "North American Mobile Service area" covering more than 400 million consumers and businesses in Mexico and the United States.
However, AT&T is not the only carrier that offers cheap calling options to Mexico. Many U.S. carriers offer such options to appeal to Hispanic customers who may have family members in Mexico or travel there frequently.
For example, for $10 per month, T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) offers unlimited calling to landlines to at least 70 countries and discounted calling rates to at least 200 countries. For $5 more per month, T-Mobile offers unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling to at least 30 countries and 1,000 mobile-to-mobile minutes per month to Mexico.
For $15 per month, Sprint lets customers call landlines in more than 60 countries without additional charges and call mobile phones in 35 countries without additional charges. For $5 per month Sprint customers can get 500 calling minutes (landline and mobile) to Mexico and nine other countries (Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, Peru, El Salvador, Spain, Costa Rica, Argentina) with no additional usage fees. If customers use all 500 minutes, calls to Mexico are 1 cent per minute for both landline and mobile.
For $5 per month, Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) says customers can call and text worldwide with discount voice rates in nearly 150 countries. For $5 per month Verizon customers can make calls to Mexican mobile and landlines for 1 cent per minute.
- see this AT&T blog post
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