To obtain a new phone line, it is necessary to contact Movistar directly. The Movistar website has a search feature that allows potential customers to check if desired services are available in their area, though the website is in Spanish. Before moving into an apartment or house, verify if there is a line (the presence of phone jacks does not mean a line is installed). Where a phone line is functioning and “live” it is possible (and less expensive) to transfer the account from the name of the previous occupant to the new one. Requests for transfers may be done online at the Movistar website and can be submitted up to two months in advance of the changeover. Customers moving within the same Movistar tariff zone may be able to keep their previous Movistar phone number. Movistar bills can be received on paper by post, electronically via email or accessed at the Movistar website. Landline Movistar bills are generally distributed every alternate month. If payment is late or not received, Movistar may cut off outgoing service and demand a fee in addition to outstanding bills to re-establish normal service. Movistar is the national supplier of landline and mobile telephone service, Internet and ADSL.
- Tel: 1004 from movistar mobile) / 1002 for techical support
- From abroad: +34 699 991 004
Note: The following information may be required when contacting the call service:
- Movistar bill (if available) or a recent utility (electricity) bill
- NIE and passport number
- Bank account details
- Mobile number of a friend or a neighbourhood
Spanish mobile phone service operates on a GSM network, so phones from elsewhere in Europe will probably function, although roaming charges may apply. For those spending some time in Spain, buying and installing a Spanish SIM card in the phone is a less-expensive option. Phones from North America that operate on the CDMA system will not work in Spain.
Prepaid and contract phones
- For those opting for a Spanish SIM card and/or phone, phone service can be obtained on a pre-paid or contract basis.
- Contracts: Service on a contract is generally less expensive per minute than the pre-paid service and billing is usually on a monthly basis.
- Pay as you go: The pre-paid card (tarjeta prepago) provides a number and a certain amount of call-time (“credit”). The credit must be used within the expiry period, or the number may be reissued by the service provider.
- Pre-paid calling plans require credit to be bought at a mobile phone store, tobacconist, grocery store or newsagent. Some banks offer an account top-up service available from ATMs.
- Credit on prepaid phones usually has an expiry date. If the phone credit is not topped up after this expiry date, the number may be reassigned by the service provider.
There are several mobile cellular telephone service providers in Spain: