• Glenn Wilson
    82
    If you have a U.S. cell phone and want to use it with a Mexico number instead, you can replace the SIM card with one from a Mexico provider. If you just want to use your U.S. cell phone here in Mexico your provider may already support that. My U.S. AT&T cell phone works fine in Mexico with my original U.S. phone number. I did have to enable the free (for me; my plan) Roam Mexico.

    When you get a cell phone in the U.S. that is initially on the AT&T network it is usually "locked" to work on that network only. You are also typically on some "plan" and obligated to pay for some period of time. This is compensation to AT&T, directly or indirectly, for the discount on the phone. Other carriers do the same.

    Once the initial obligation has passed you are allowed to use the phone on another cell network. You can change the cell network by changing the SIM card in your phone. But, there is one problem.

    The phone is still locked to AT&T and the SIM card from the other network will not work. If your phone is "paid off" and you are in good standing with AT&T they will send you the unlock code for free.

    Changing from a U.S. AT&T to a Mexico AT&T SIM card required me to unlock my phone.

    Instructions are at this web site: AT&T Device unlock portal
    It may take a couple of days for them to send you the code.

    If you don't know how to change the SIM card in your phone you can google your phone model and SIM and probably find a YouTube video that shows how. Or, you can go to a phone store (where you buy your SIM card, perhaps) or phone repair shop and have them do it for you using the code that AT&T sent you.

    I imagine the process is similar for other carriers but I have only done this with AT&T.

    Related: Apple: How to unlock your iPhone for use with a different carrier
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