Published On: Fri, Feb 7th, 2014

Telcel blocking Skype in Mexico

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Phil Guest and his wife are expats from Stratford, Ontario, Canada, that return to Chicxulub, Yucatan every year during the winter. Skype has always been their link to family and friends in Canada as well as business, financial interests and medical associations.

This year they are simply unable to use Skype as Telcel has blocked the site.  Considering Carlos Slim, Telcel owner, is one of the world’s richest, this seems rather absurd to them.  Slim wants people like Phil Guest to use his phone system to call Canada something that is not fair and most likely won’t happen.  Phil and his wife (like many other “Snowbirds”) love the Yucatan and the people, and they spend a considerable amount of money every year while here. Why should they give away their money to a monopoly like the one owned by Mr. Slim?

Regarding this issue, we are enclosing a few posts found on the Internet that may be helpful to the Expat Community:

 

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A gentleman named Claudius, Community Manager for http://community.skype.com/, published the following comment on the Skype Community Website 10 months ago on May 23rd, 2013:

Seems Telcel, who is the largest ISP in Mexico has figured out a way to block users from sky calls. I tried using different devices and as soon as the call gets connected the bandwidth goes down to about 8kpbs for a few seconds and then kills the call. Service seems to work better when not in 3G but the problem is they block the menu so you can’t set your modem to work on WCDMA only. Unfortunately, it is the only ISP service available in my area and now I can’t use skype. I have several numbers, an international subscription, business numbers and greed like always has to ruin things for all. No wonder Carlos Slim is one of the richest men on the planet since most of his fortune comes from keeping his own people trapped in a monopoly. Been braking my head trying to think for a solution, may have to get satellite internet service but it’s real expensive.

In response to this comment, another community.skype.com user named Ken, posted the following answer on July 4th, 2013:

I believe you are correct regards Telcel blocking Skype, I inquired at Telcel and the person said something to the tune that the packets may be spaced far enough apart to create a choppy conversation.

We had been using iUSACel but they dropped a tower near me and the tower I now aim at is overloaded so any internet is painful.

I tried using a Virtual Private Network  to log in to Telcel this morning – Hotspot shield, it worked okay for a few minutes but then it abrubtly shut off.  However there are many choices, just search for “public vpn”

A VPN works by sending a stream of encrypted data to another location, often in the U.S. or other country where Skype is not blocked.

On November 5th, 2013 another community.skype.com anonymous user posted the following

Hi, I’ve been struggling with Telcel in Mexico too. Although speedtest.net shows pings like 70ms, download 2Mb and upload over 2Mb (symmetric bandwidth?!) Skype connection is very chopped and finally dies. Proving that Telcel is blocking Skype is actually very easy:

1) Send a document file through Skype – it goes at speed of 1-2Kb/sec

2) Try to use Movistar according to speedtest.net it gives only up to 2Mb download, 0.3 upload and pings like 145ms but skype connections is CRISTAL-CLEAR

I’d say even more, Telcel cartel know sites like testmyspeed.com or speedtest.net and may temporary increase speed when those domains are called to show how nice their service is.

After exhausting battle I’ve learned to use more expensive Movistar for Skype and switch for cheaper Telcel for internet browsing.

I hope this may help someone like myself to survive in Mexico 🙂

On December 11th, 2013, another community.skype.com anonymous user posted the following

Telcel is definitely blocking Skype. I live in Mexico (Baja California Sur) 3 months a year, off the grid, and use a USB 3g dongle for my MacBook Pro in order to access the internet and this year I was not able to use Skype when connected by 3g. When using a wireless connection my iPhone 5 and my MacBook Pro were able to use Skype without a problem but as soon as I tried using a 3g connection the calls went through but the sound was completely scrambled rendering Skype unusable. Telcel claims to have no knowledge of the problem and tells me that the issue must be on my end with either my computer and phone or the Skype program itself being the problem.

You are right on every point regarding Carlos Slim. On Skype it costs 26.7 cents US to call a mobile phone anywhere in Mexico plus a 8.9 cents US connection fee. If you make a one minute call the cost is 35.6 cents US. How outrageous is that. It costs me less just to dial international direct on my AT&T phone. On Skype, Mexico has got to be one of the more expensive places in the world to call a mobile phone.

An internet savvy user named Bretty Daren left the following message on the blog known as http://life.almostfearless.com/

Skype is rightly an important need of our current era as we all know. Unfortunately there are few countries which have some other opinion about Skype. I would like to share a few top VPN services specifically for skype. They will let you to access Skype from any part of the world without any hurdle. Just go to: http://www.vpnranks.com/skype

Other Free VPN service websites are:

  • Hotspot Shield
  • Yupee Phone
  • Log Mein
  • Wippien
  • Open VPN
  • Iopus
  • Voip Sol

If you have any other useful information to share with the Expat Community in the Yucatan Peninsula regarding this issue, please post your comments underneath, all comments are welcome. Thank you !

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  1. J says:

    Must be a user problem not a system problem, I have been using Skype for the past 4 years in Mexico all over, the yucatan, acapulco, DF, and all up the pacific coast and Baja, South and north.

    I even use 3G for skype and now even 4G all on telcel.

    Using apple systems, windows based systems, android systems and many of my friends too are Skype users with no such issues.

  2. alina foster says:

    usefull information

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