Ring tone on US cellphone in Mexico?

Forums Forums Questions answered Ring tone on US cellphone in Mexico?

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    I am traveling to Mexico and plan to buy a plan to use my US AT&T cell phone while I am there.

    My question is: will the phone ring differently? Will people in the US know that I am in Mexico?



    Hi Nora. The ringing tone should be different because your phone will be registered in a Mexican network. Quite a few different frequencies are used for ringing tones depending on the country you are in. Moreover, the cadence of ringing tones is often not the same (how long the tone and the pause between ringing tones are). In this particular case, according to our sources Mexico uses a shorter 1.5 second ringing tone (2 seconds in the US) followed by a 3.5 second pause (4 seconds in the US). The ringing sound too is slightly different in Mexico.


    Thank you! My issue is that I would like to work from Mexico, and I do not want my US-based clients to get put off by hearing a different ring or thinking that they will have to pay international fees to call me. I will check with AT&T. I really appreciate your help- this is a valuable resource with information that isn’t easily found elsewhere.


    I also do not want my clients to know when I am in Mexico. Last time I was there my phone beeped when I was making outgoing calls and people who called me said it beeped instead of ring. Is there away to make it work normal so my clients do not know I am calling internationally?


    Hi Justin,

    It’s impossible to control the way your mobile phone rings when using it abroad on a foreign network.

    If you don’t want people calling you to know that you are abroad there are some solutions.

    One is called VoIP or Voice over IP. In case you don’t know what it is, VoIP is a telephone service which uses a broadband Internet connection instead of a traditional telephone line to connect.

    VoIP services have evolved a great deal over the years and today you can subscribe to really complex, feature rich plans. And one important feature is mobility: you can take the service with you or even use an app on your smart phone. The only condition: having a good connection to the Internet. Of course, when you are not connected you can forward incoming calls to a voicemail message or to a different number (your regular cell number – in this case people calling you might hear the foreign ring.

    One of the popular services that comes to mind is Vonage, but there are others too. Check out their plans, talk to them, tell them exactly how/where you plan to use their service and what your concerns are.

    Another service you could use is Call forwarding. You can sign up for service with one of the companies offering this type of service (Florida based United World Telecom is a popular one) and they’ll give you a phone number in a country and area code of your choice. When dialed, the number forwards the call to another phone number of your choice, even an international phone number. Usually, these services also allow you to pick the ringback tone people hear when dialing your number.

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Some information on these forums could be outdated - countries change their numbering plans periodically. We recommend using our top menu to double check the correct instructions for dialing to a specific country.

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