A Telcel SIM card, Chip SIM card is a product that will allow you to enjoy cellular telephony in the Mexican territory. Before purchasing, you must keep in mind factors such as cellphone compatibility, plans, prices, and how to activate or reload it.
In this post, we will show you how you can get it, the stores, prices, and similar alternatives with which you can access the internet and calls in Mexico.
- 1 What is Telcel?
- 2 Where can you buy a Telcel chip?
- 3 How much does the Telcel SIM card cost?
- 4 How to activate the Telcel chip?
- 5 How to top up minutes, mobile data and calls?
- 6 Compatibility of the Telcel SIM card with your mobile or cell phone
- 7 How is Telcel’s cellular network coverage in Mexico?
What is Telcel?
Telcel is a Mexican cellular operator owned by América Móvil, a company that owns other well-known brands in Latin America, such as Claro.
Telcel stands out for its good network coverage, outperforming its competitors such as AT&T Mexico and Movistar Mexico.
Where can you buy a Telcel chip?
There are different places and websites where you can purchase a Telcel chip, from the traditional branch or official store to third-party websites.
Buy Telcel SIM Card online:
Currently, there is no way to purchase a Telcel chip from the official site. For those who do not want to leave home, they have the possibility of acquiring a prepaid SIM card for Mexico from other stores such as Holafly eSIM, Holafly SIM cards, Amazon, and Mercadolibre in Latin America.
Choosing one of the options previously mentioned, it is common that you will have to wait a few days to receive the product. If you are leaving soon and want to get an immediate connection when you arrive in Mexico, you can choose Holafly’s eSIM Mexico, which is virtual and does not require a physical chip.
Get a Chip at a Telcel Shop
This is only a one-time option, you will have to go to a Telcel store or commercial establishment to get information and buy your chip. These customer service spots will ask for documentation such as your passport or identification number.
Something important to mention about these places is their opening hours. They are usually open from 9:00 or 10:00 AM until 6:00 or 7:00 AM. Also, keep in mind holidays or non-business days in Mexico.
Buy Telcel Chip at Oxxo
Another place known for offering a variety of products is Oxxo; a popular chain store in Mexico where you can purchase a Telcel Chip. In these places, you will have to locate a store and complete the purchase at the cash register.
Getting a Telcel SIM Card at a Mexican airport:
For those who travel and need a Telcel chip, they can also get them at the airports. There are commercial stores that operate for Telcel.
As for the official Telcel stores, the points of sale inside the airports also have the same hours, i.e., they open from 9:00 or 10:00 AM to 6:00 or 7:00 PM. Therefore, if you arrive in Mexico in the early morning and need internet upon arrival to request a cab, communicate with your hotel or notify your relatives, it is best to purchase a chip before traveling or get a virtual SIM card with mobile data for Mexico.
How much does the Telcel SIM card cost?
For some people, the price is the least of their worries and what they’re looking for is a solution and quality service, for others it is a decisive factor before making the purchase. Whichever the case, if you belong to one group or the other, let us tell you the price of a Telcel chip.
The official price of a Telcel chip is 79 Mexican pesos, about 4 dollars or 3.5 euros. This cost is only for the chip without available balance and without activation. Although after activation it usually includes a welcome bonus.
However, the price will vary depending on where you buy it. It may cost you more at airports and resale stores. The price is lower at official sites, although they tend to be slower to provide customer service.
How to activate the Telcel chip?
Telcel has different channels for you to activate your prepaid chip. You can choose the one that best suits your place of purchase and the area where you are located. We explain further below.
Activating in a store
When purchasing at an official store and if you need same-day SIM activation, you can ask for help in the activation process. The customer service agents will deliver your chip ready to use.
Activating chip via a call
To activate the chip over the phoned, you will need to have two telephones at hand. In one of them insert the chip and turn it on. With the other cell phone, call 800-7105687 and follow the instructions for activating a prepaid chip.
Sending SMS to activate chip
Another way you have at hand to activate a Telcel chip is by using text messages. To do this, you must insert the SIM in your cell phone, turn it on and send a text message to the code 4848, in the message write the word ALTA and follow the instructions given in response.
Activating through the SimpleMobile web site
Go to the SimpleMobile website and select the Activate option, enter the ICCID of your chip and follow the instructions on the screen.
How to top up minutes, mobile data and calls?
You have different alternatives to add credit to your Tecel chip, you can top up from their official reload site or external websites. You can also go to their customer service spots, in shopping malls such as Oxxo and neighborhood stores.
These packages include data, unlimited calls, and SMS.
|Amount of data||Price||Days|
|2GB||$ 150 MXN||26 days|
|100 MB||$ 20 MXN||1 día|
|120 MB||$ 30 MXN||3 days|
|400 MB||$ 50 MXN||7 days|
|500 MB||$ 80 MXN||13 days|
|1.3GB||$ 100 MXN||15 days|
|3 GB||$ 200 MXN||30 days|
|4 GB||$ 300 MXN||30 days|
|6 GB||$ 500 MXN||30 days|
Packages with data:
These packages include data and social networks.
|Amount of data||Price||Days|
|1.6 GB||$ 100 MXN||15 days|
|3.5 GB||$ 200 MXN||30 days|
|5 GB||$ 300 MXN||30 days|
|8 GB||$ 500 MXN||30 days|
Compatibility of the Telcel SIM card with your mobile or cell phone
Before purchasing a Telcel SIM card you should make sure that your phone will work on their network. Whether you are traveling from abroad or you are planning to purchase a cell phone imported from another country like the US, for example.
Chip sizes: Normal, Micro and NanoSIM
A Telcel SIM card comes in 3 sizes. Normal size (common in older cell phones), MicroSIM generally compatible with recent cell phones. NanoSIM also available in most recent cell phones.
The size of the chip can be chosen by extracting the correct size from the card. This is usually die-cut and you just need to press to cut it to the size you need.
Telcel network frequencies
This is extremely important. If your mobile, smartphone, or cell phone is not compatible with Telcel’s network frequencies, you will not have coverage, and therefore you will not be able to enjoy the service in Mexico.
|Type of network||Network frequencies|
|2G||1700/2100 AWS 1, 2600, 1700/2100|
How is Telcel’s cellular network coverage in Mexico?
Telcel stands out for having the best network coverage in Mexico. However, in general, if you travel to areas far from the cities, the signal quality is low. In Mexico, in some areas, you will not be able to get mobile network coverage and it is something you should know before traveling so you can look for WiFi hotspots.
Areas with good coverage:
Places in Mexico where you can get good network coverage are Mexico City, Guanajuato, Monterrey, Veracruz, Merida, and Tabasco.
Areas with weak or no coverage:
Recognized and possibly tourist sites where network coverage in some areas may be weak, unstable, or non-existent are: Los Cabos, Xul-Ha, Campeche, Holbox, Tulum, and Chiapas.