advertisement

Telephones

Telephones work the same way here as they do in the rest of the U.S. For years, however, New Mexico had only one area code. That changed in 2007 when the state was split into two area codes. The northwest, including Albuquerque and Santa Fe, retained the 505 code, while the rest of the state gained the code 575. This change applies to landline and wireless service as well as other communications services. Be aware that it may take businesses a while to make the changes in their promotional materials, so if you're having trouble getting through, you might check the area code.

To reach directory assistance, dial tel. 1-411.

Cellphones -- If you're not from the U.S., you'll be appalled at the poor reach of the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless network, which is used by much of the rest of the world. Your phone will probably work in most major U.S. cities; it definitely won't work in many rural areas. To see where GSM phones work in the U.S., check out www.t-mobile.com/coverage. And you may or may not be able to send SMS (text messaging) home.

All the major cellphone companies have towers that serve the northern New Mexico region. Be aware, though, that in areas far from major cities, reception will be spotty. Phones with both digital and analog service will have better reception in these areas.

Voice-Over Internet Protocol (VOIP)

If you have Web access while traveling, consider a broadband-based telephone service (in technical terms, Voice-over Internet protocol, or VoIP) such as Skype (www.skype.com) or Vonage (www.vonage.com), which allow you to make free international calls from your laptop or in a cybercafe. Neither service requires the people you're calling to also have that service (though there are fees if they do not). Check the websites for details.

Internet & E-Mail

With Your Own Computer -- Wi-Fi and traditional Internet access are widely available in the cities in the region. For lists of places, see the orientation sections of chapters 5, 12, and 16. Currently there are 530 Wi-Fi hotspots in the state. In order to find one near you, log onto www.jiwire.com; its Hotspot Finder holds the world's largest directory of public wireless hotspots.

Without Your Own Computer -- Most major airports have Internet kiosks that provide basic Web access for a per-minute fee that's usually higher than cybercafe prices. Check out copy shops like Kinko's (FedEx Kinkos), which offers computer stations with fully loaded software (as well as Wi-Fi).

Online Traveler's Toolbox

Veteran travelers usually carry some essential items to make their trips easier. Following is a selection of handy online tools to bookmark and use.

  • Airplane Seating (www.seatguru.com, www.airlinequality.com)
  • Calendar of Events for New Mexico (www.newmexico.org/calendar)
  • Foreign Languages for Travelers (www.travlang.com)
  • Maps (www.mapquest.com)
  • Ski and Snowboarding News for New Mexico (www.skinewmexico.com)
  • Time and Date (www.timeanddate.com)
  • Travel Warnings (http://travel.state.gov, www.fco.gov.uk/travel, www.voyage.gc.ca, www.smartraveller.gov.au)
  • Universal Currency Converter (www.oanda.com)
  • Weather (www.intellicast.com, www.weather.com)

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.