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Bring Your Own
GSM Compatible Phone, or an Unlocked GSM Phone

Make sure it operates on our compatible frequencies (850 and 1900 MHz).

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Buy a SIM Card
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Standard and micro SIM cards available

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Activate Your GSM SIM Card
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Follow the easy instructions included on your Activation Card.

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Update Your Data Settings

SIM card will only work with compatible GSM devices. To activate your service, you will need a Telcel Unlimited 30-day Service Plan card or credit card. Some data services may not be available with all wireless devices. BlackBerrys, LTE devices and branded TracFone, SafeLink, NET10 Wireless, Telcel or Straight Talk phones will not work with this program. For GSM devices, in order for your phone's data services to work you must update your APN data settings, also called the Access Point Name. SIM card and Service Plans are not refundable.

Our Most Popular FAQs

  • What is GSM?

    Global System for Mobile communications is the most popular standard for mobile phones in the world. Its promoter, the GSM Association, estimates that 80% of the global mobile market uses the standard GSM, which includes over 3 billion people across more than 212 countries and territories. The ubiquity of the GSM standard has been an advantage to both consumers (who benefit from the ability to roam and switch carriers without switching phones) and also to network operators (who can choose equipment from any of the many vendors implementing GSM).

  • Do I need to manually program the phone?

    In order for your phone to work, you will need to update your APN (Access Point Name) found in your phone’s data settings. Some services, such as MMS or Browsing, may not work if you cannot make the required change to your handset. The necessary settings can be found in the red Activation Card that came with your SIM, or by visiting our Phone Programming Guide. To activate online:

  • What does unlocked mean?

    Unlocked means that the phone is not configured or programmed to any specific provider network. With an unlocked phone you can access multiple networks by changing the SIM card.

  • Can I bring my own phone number?

    Yes. You may transfer your telephone number from another company to Telcel online. To port in your existing telephone number to your Telcel SIM, the number you are porting must be active with your current service provider. You need to request Telcel to port in your number, and Telcel process your request in your behalf. In order to request the transfer and initiate the activation process, please go to and select the radio button option "Activate my phone with a number transferred from another company."

More FAQs

  • I purchased a Service plan and can't find my PIN – where is it?

    Your PIN is located on the back of your Service Plan Card. To find the PIN on your Service Card, simply locate and scratch off the gray strip on the back of your card. Scratch off the gray strip in order to reveal your 15 digit Service Card PIN.

  • Can I call my friends and family in Mexico?

    Yes, all Telcel plans include calling in Mexico.

  • Can my friends and family in Mexico call me?

    Yes, as long as their service allows it.

  • Will my phone roam in Mexico?

    Yes, all Telcel plans include roaming†† to Mexico, but there is no roaming in any other international country.

  • What is 3G?

    3G is the generic term for third-generation wireless networks. Analog was 1G, Digital was 2G, and 3G is the third-generation platform for innovative, high-speed products and services. 3G makes the connecion faster, easier, and more fun, with increased speed for Web browsing, downloading content, attachments, video, playing games, and much more.

  • What is 4G LTE?

    4G LTE is the term for the fourth-generation wireless, is a type of technology that can be used with cellular phones, wireless computers, and other mobile devices. This technology give users faster access to the Internet than most previous third-generation (3G) networks can offer, and it also offers new user options such as the ability to access high-definition (HD) video, high-quality voice, and high-data-rate wireless channels via mobile devices. The new technology is supposed to provide peak speed for Internet communication at 100 megabits per second (Mbps) for high mobility users, which includes those in cars and trains, and 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) for low mobility users, such as pedestrians or those who are stationary while using their device.

  • Can I download music, photos and videos to my phone?

    Yes, depending on the specific capabilities of your device. All services may not work with every device.

  • Can I side load content to my phone?

    Yes, if your handset has a media player then you can side load media into the memory card by loading the content directly from a computer.

  • Can my phone be used as a modem?

    No. That is not permitted. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions.

  • What plans are available?

    $60 Unlimited** International Plan with Unlimited Nationwide Minutes, Unlimited Messages & Unlimited data plus Unlimited International calling to over 1,000 destinations including cedllulars in Mexico, Canada, India and China.

  • Where do you have coverage?

    Please view our coverage page.

  • Will I be charged more for domestic long distance calls?

    There are no additional charges for domestic long distance calls or texts.

  • Are there roaming charges?


  • Can I text message a friend who's not on this service?


  • How many characters can a text message contain?

    Text messages can contain up to 160 characters including spaces in each message. If a message is longer than 160 characters, it will be delivered in multiple messages.

  • Can I set up an e-mail account on my phone or access personal e-mail?

    Yes, if your phone allows it.

  • Do I have to sign a contract?


  • Is there an activation fee?


  • What should I do with my carrier specific or branded applications?

    We strongly suggest that you uninstall or disable all carrier specific or branded applications that are on your phone. If you do not, these applications or your phone may not work properly.

  • Is there an early termination fee?


  • How do I make payments online with a debit card? For live customer service & technical service: To manage your account online:

  • How long does it take to move my existing mobile number to your service?

    The transferring of your phone number might take a few hours; however, if there are any delays from your current wireless carrier, the transfer process could take up to 7 days and in the case of landline numbers, transfers may take up to 30 days.

  • Can I move my existing landline phone number to your service?

    Yes, as long as it is still active.

  • Do I get charged for 411 calls?


  • I want to change my number to something else – can I do that?

    Yes. Please contact Support for assistance, at 1-800-220-9518.

  • How do I reset my Voice Mail Pass Code?

    To reset your pass code, call your Voice Mailbox and listen to the tutorial. If there are no instructions for resetting the pass code, contact our Customer Care Center at 1-800-220-9518 to speak to a representative.

  • Does my plan support International Roaming††?


  • Can I use my Blackberry® with your service?


  • Will my service work overseas?


  • If my account is deactivated because I didn’t Refill before my Service End date, do I need to acquire a new SIM card to reactivate my account?

    No, as long as the account is reactivated within 145 days a new SIM card is not needed.

How to Update Data Settings for T-Mobile Compatible Phones

Find below the values needed to update your device data settings to be able to send MMS* and connect to the Internet via your Browser:

  • Create a new APN (access point name). Enter only the settings listed below:
    Field Smartphone
    All Other
    Name Telcel Telcel
    APN wap.tracfone wap.tracfone
    Proxy n/a
    Port 8080 8080
    MMS Proxy n/a
    MMS Port n/a 8080
  • Select the APN You Just Created.
  • Delete the Old APN From Your Phone if Possible.
phone programming

*Updating your APN settings does not guarantee MMS (Multimedia/Picture Messaging) will work. MMS is dependent upon your phone model's limitations.

How to Update Data Settings for Unlocked GSM Phones

In order to send MMS and access the Internet browser, you need to update your data settings. Find out how to do this on your phone.

Get Instructions