VOIP Phone Service in Mexico and USA
VOIP phone service is your best choice for long distance to and from Mexico.
There are a few choices in VOIP phone service carriers today and I have used both Packet8 and Vonage. Packet8 was good to me, but Vonage, with their unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada made me switch. Skype is low-cost alternative, but the quality is still not up to VOIP standards. I use Skype computer to computer service when I travel and found it tolerable, but not something I would use to conduct business. The video chat is a nice feature, but only about 50% of the time did I get a consistent-enough signal for it to work well. But, if you are traveling and calling home to your honey, free is pretty nice.
I use Vonage with unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada and a few other places besides the USA. I am sold on Vonage now. Try them. If you sign up for Vonage on their refer a friend program and give them my number - 956-467-1930. Both you and I get a free month and you get a good deal. Sign up for Vonage.
Until you get all set up with a home phone, it would be wise to get a cell phone for your travels. If you get an unlocked phone (from these folks below or anywhere else), you can get a SIM card that will let you use the TelCel network (via AT$T) for less. Or you can just rent a phone if you are afraid of committment.
BTW, you get a $10 discount if you use "Mexicomike" in your online order or if you call them at 800-287-5072.
Most businesses in Mexico have VOIP phones with a U.S. and a Canadian phone number for their clients to call.
Imagine, though, having a US phone number while living in Mexico so you can call home or conduct business without paying long-distance charges! There is a CNet News story about Telmex is blocking VOIP phones, but it was done in 2005. This is old news, but is still comes up in search engines for "voip Mexico." There is a thread on the Vonage bulletin board, but no entries since 2005.
In general VOIP calls (in Mexico or the U.S. or Canada) are as good as landline calls, However, occasionally you will have a slight lag, but in most cases it is hardly noticeable anymore. That used to be the bane of VOIP phone calls. I also found that getting a good-quality phone helped tremendously. A 5.8 or 6.0 megahertz phone (is recommended to avoid conflicting with your wireless broadband connection. I use a high-end Vtech cordless phone. Corded phones are generally better, but I hate being tied to the phone. I bought a 6.0 megahertz phone and don't notice much difference)
Some people swear by Skype, a nearly free service. I am now on board. If you use the paid service, it seems to work pretty well. If you call friends and family who have Skype, it works fine - IF you have a good, fast Internet connection. Otherwise it is frustrating.
If you sign up for Vonage on their refer a friend program and give them my number - 956-467-1930. Both you and I get a free month and you get a good deal. Sign up for Vonage.