The state government of Quintana Roo has signed a new agreement with the WiFi provider GigNet to bring high-speed wireless internet to some of the state’s most popular tourism hotspots.
With the Mexican Caribbean growing in popularity with digital nomads, this announcement will be especially welcome. As well as being an added incentive for those exploring the area as a possible location to work remotely.
When And Where
It is expected the initial offering of free WiFi will be available in as little as 4 weeks, although a definitive date and time have not been given.
The areas that will receive free highspeed WiFi are:
- Cancun hotel zone and city hall.
- Puerto Morelos city hall.
- Playa Del Carmen 5th avenue
- Tulum coastal area.
The WiFi installations are not intended to cover the entirety of each city or district to begin with, but plans to extend the service in the near future are in place, and it’s hoped this corner of Mexico will one day lead the nation in connectivity.
Why Free WiFi?
Huge investments have been made across Mexico in the last few years to digitize the nation further. In fact, many of the larger cities in Mexico, such as Guadalajara and Mexico City, register higher average WiFi speeds than the United States.
But the intention in the Mexican Caribbean is focused on the hope that increased digital infrastructure will encourage more investment from the United States.
The President of GigNet even went so far as to say they hope Quintana Roo can be an attractive destination for Silicon Valley giants such as Amazon and Google in the near future.
Quintana Roo has long welcomed Americans and Europeans to live in the state. Expats add much to the local economy, and with the city of Cancun being a purpose-built tourist destination, there is a lot less pushback over the arrival of foreigners compared to other less touristic cities in Mexico.
What This Means For Digital Nomads
Many people choose the life of a digital nomad for its flexibility and freedom. No longer being tied to an office or a long morning commute can be liberating for many people.
But nothing is without limitations, and while being a digital nomad makes commuting and sitting in a stuffy office a thing of the past, for some, they are merely trading one 4-walled room for another.
The true digital nomad experience is being able to put a laptop into a bag and hunt for a comfortable beach hut and work with a view of the ocean gently meeting the sand.
This was something missing in many areas of the Mexican Caribbean digital nomad experience until now.
What This Means For Tourists
The spread of high-speed free internet isn’t just a positive for digital nomads and potential investors. It’s believed tourists who visit the Mexican Caribbean do so with 5-10 internet-ready devices, which is no surprise in this digital age.
From posting the perfect Cancun beach selfie on Instagram to uploading a potentially viral TikTok of this ideal vacation destination, tourists require fast connectivity just as much as digital nomads.
Not to mention vacation-related chores such as online check-in for the return flight to the United States or receiving important updates from family and friends back home.
Furthermore, while it’s possible to avoid mobile data roaming charges with AT&T or T-Mobile in Mexico, many other providers charge either a daily flat cost or a data premium for travelers to use their cell phone data while in the country.
With the roll-out of free WiFi, this will become an issue of the past. No more guarding of data usage like each megabyte is worth a gram of gold, or the headache-inducing process of purchasing a local sim card and data plan from OXXO or 7Eleven and then having to temporarily transfer WhatsApp to the new number.
Additionally, these days cell phone numbers are used across many apps such as banking and social media as added proof of identity, and getting locked out of mobile banking is the last thing a traveler needs while abroad.
All of these scenarios will soon be ‘water off a ducks’ back for tourists in the Mexican Caribbean thanks to this welcome investment in infrastructure.
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