In many countries, you dial the same set of codes to connect with a cell phone regardless of where you or the cell phone are situated; but in Mexico, you need to learn a few rules to be able to connect to Mexican cell phone numbers.
Mexico has adopted the ‘calling party pays’ scheme whereby it’s free to receive cell phone calls, but the caller pays a premium fee to connect with a cell phone.
Before the Telecommunication reforms of 2015, Mexico had a system which allowed a land-line caller in Mexico to pay a lower rate to connect with out-of-area cell phones, provided the cell phone user agreed to pick-up the charge difference. Since the reforms, this is no longer relevant as all calls to Mexican cell phones from Mexican land lines are treated as local calls.
However, different codes still need to be dialed depending on whether you are calling from a land-line or cell phone in Mexico—and for ‘good measure’, there is also an additional code for calling a Mexican cell phone when you are dialing from outside Mexico.
Here, then, are the rules:
Dialing to a Cell Phone from a Land Line in Mexico
The call must be preceded by a three digit number: 044, then the cell phone’s area code (two or three digits), and finally the cell phone’s own seven or eight-digit number, thus:
Dial 044 when you are calling a cell phone from a land-line. Cell phone numbers (even out-of-area cell phone numbers) are treated as local calls now and charged accordingly. For example, if you are calling a Mexico City cell phone from a land-line anywhere in Mexico, you would dial: 044 – 55 – 1234 5678.
The old 045 code is now redundant as all calls to Mexican cell phones from a Mexican land line are treated as local calls.
Dialing to a Cell Phone from a Cell Phone in Mexico
If you are calling a Mexican cell phone from another cell phone inside Mexico, you ignore the 044 code and simply dial the other cell phone’s area code and the number, regardless of where your cell phone is based (or roaming), and regardless of where the other cell phone is based. For example, if you are calling a cell phone in Puerto Vallarta from your Mexican cell phone you would dial the area code then the cell phone number. e.g. 322 – 1234 567.
Dialing to a Land Line from a Cell Phone in Mexico
When you are dialing from a cell phone in Mexico to a land-line in Mexico, you simply dial the land-line’s area code and the phone number. For example, if you are calling a land-line in Mexico City from your cell phone you would dial: 55 – 1234 5678.
Dialing a Mexican Cell Phone from Abroad
When you are calling a cell phone number in Mexico from outside Mexico, it’s necessary to dial an additional “1” after Mexico’s country code (which is “52”) and before the area code. You also ignore the 044, and simply dial the area code and the cell phone’s number.
If you don’t add the “1”, you’ll receive a recorded announcement asking you to redial using it.
For example, if you are calling from the USA to a cell phone in Mexico City, you would dial 011 – 52 – 1 – 55 – 1234 5678. This is distinct from calling a land-line in Mexico City from abroad, where the number dialed would be 011 – 52 – 55 – 1234 5678.
You can learn more about how to keep in touch by connecting to our comprehensive Guide to Communications in Mexico.