Network technology and coverage Edit
Spain has 4 network operators:
- Movistar (owned by Telefónica)
- Yoigo (roaming on Movistar)
All others are resellers or MVNOs reselling the operators. They are very strong in Spain on the prepaid market.
The country is all covered by 2G and mostly by 3G up to HSPA+ and DC-HSPA. Nationwide Movistar has the best coverage, followed by Vodafone and Orange, which is still very reasonable. 2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G on 900 and 2100 MHz. Yoigo is a 3G/4G-only network roaming free on Movistar elsewhere, thus giving a good coverage.
4G/LTE was launched on all operators in 2013 by using 1800 and 2600 MHz frequencies. For prepaid customers LTE is only available on some prepaid plans of Vodafone and Yoigo and no MVNOs up to now.
All SIM cards have to be registered by law. Usually you do this in the shops of purchase showing your photo ID (passport or national ID card). As a tourist without a postal address in Spain you have basically this choice:
- to go to a shop of one of the four network operators (movistar, Vodafone, orange or yoigo). Their stores can be found in every inner city or shopping mall. Their support may be better and reloads can be made almost everywhere. But this comes with extra price.
- to go to an agency of the smaller resellers / MVNOs operating on the same networks. They may have less support, only a few shops which have to be searched for and not so many places to top up, no LTE yet, but are generally cheaper.
- on Movistar network: tuenti móvil, DIGI mobil, Lycamobile
- on Vodafone network: hits mobile, Lebara móvil
- on Orange network: Carrefour Móvil, MASmovil, happymóvil
When you use MVNOs, be sure to switch on (domestic) data roaming and check the appropriate APN.
This survey only shows the most important offers, for more details in English refer to this WIKI which has more or less accurate information.
Taxes in the Canary Islands, Melilla and CeutaEdit
In 2014 Spanish operators switched to prices with taxes included (= IVA incluido). The prices given here are for the mainland and the Balearic Islands and include 21% sales tax (IVA). However, on the Canary Islands the applicable tax (IGIC) is only 7%. So prices on the Canaries are to be lowered by 14%. On top-ups made there, you normally get a 14% bonus to adjust the tax difference. In the African enclaves of Melilla the tax is 4%, in Ceuta 8%. So tax rates have to be adjusted there too.
Vodafone was the first network which opened 4G to prepaid customers in 2014 and migrates slowly all its plans there. Meanwhile, it has expanded its LTE coverage to all towns in the country with more than 25,000 inhabitans which can be checked here: Vodafone 4G coverage map
Voice & Data SIM - yu line: 4GEdit
Unlike other operators Vodafone hasn't outsourced their "youth line" but sells it cheaply in their stores under the name Vodafone yu. The SIM is sometimes free in promotions but can be up to 12 € (+ 5 € for a nano SIM) with no credit. It's a combined tariff with data, domestic calls and texts which has been opened for 4G/LTE. It is sold in 3 packages:
- Yuser: 600 MB data, 20 domestic minutes, 20 domestic SMS per month for 10 €.
- Superyuser: 1.2 GB data, 60 domestic minutes, 60 domestic SMS per month for 15 €.
- Megayuser: 1.6 GB data, 100 domestic minutes, unlimited domestic SMS per month for 20 €.
All packages include free calls and texts amongst Vodafone yu numbers too. You can subscribe or change the package by typing *525*51# for Yuser, *525*52# for Superyuser or *525*53# for Megayuser. All packages last for 30 days but can be renewed anytime sooner by typing *525*6#. Otherwise the packages will renew automatically after 30 days if there is credit. After the data volume is used, bandwide is reduced to 64 kbps as long the package is valid or 1.25 €/day for 25 MB beyond.
You can renew the plan after you use up the data allowance by typing *525# and then selecting to renew the same plan on the menu. You can do that as often as you like as long as you have credit.
Voice & Data SIM - 3GEdit
They sell these two SIM cards in their stores. Both cost 5 € with 5 € credit.
- Vodafone fácil has all domestic calls at 6 Cent per minute and 18 Cent per call. All tariffs can be changed to this by typing *626#
- Vodafone international voz has many international calls for 1.25 Cent per minute but a 18.25 Cent flagfall per call. This tariff can be booked by typing *313#
You can book a 300 MB data package for 5€ on 2G and 3G valid for 30 days by typing *313*22# <call> on both tariff lines. This is a very easy way to get a small data amount from a lot of shops. That's the only package for this card, but it can be renewed anytime.
Tourist SIM: International Smartphone - 4G Edit
Their new voice and data SIM card is called International Smartphone and sold for 15 € containing 1 GB data up to 4G/LTE and 60 minutes domestic and international calls to 35 countries valid for a month. This pack is valid for 30 days. It renews automatically, if you have enough credit. In this case unused voice or data will roll over. When used beyond the limit, speed is throttled to 32 kbps, data use outside of package charged with a daily fee of 1.25 € for 25 MB. You can change to this plan by typing *565#
Data-only SIM - 4GEdit
Their data-only tariff called Internet Móvil Prepago has been totally renewed at the end of 2014. Finally, it is now on 4G/LTE in up to 150 Mbit/s. Starter pack is sold in Vodafone's stores for 15 € with 1.5 GB preloaded valid for 3 months.
Having used up the pack, you will be on the daily tariff of 250 MB for 4.10 EUR per month or can choose one of these two add-ons for 4G data:
- 750 MB, 1 month: 10 EUR
- 1.5 GB, 1 month: 15 EUR
The data-only card can be managed online and topped up there too or by regular top-up cards. On data-only plans VoIP is open.
- APN for smartphones: airtelnet.es
- APN for modems or routers; ac.vodafone.es
- Username and password: vodafone
- Vodafone blocks VoIP on its voice & data plans
20 € including 20 € credit and in all Yoigo stores (store locator)
Data feature packEdit
- "La del Uno": 600 MB high speed volume in 4G/LTE up to 75 Mbps per month for 7.26 €.
After having used the included data, speed is reduced to 128 Kbps and an add on is offered: 200 MB extra for 2 €. The package will renew automatically every 30 days if there is credit. Data rates outside package: 1.45 €/day.
- APN: internet
- Yoigo blocks VoIP on its plans
Mini SIM, Micro sim, Nano SIM
Network: 2G up to EDGE, 3G up to HSUPA. 4G/LTE has started but is not available for prepaid yet, only for contract customers.
SIM card can be obtained for free, but a minimal top up of 10 € has to be made at purchase. They are sold in every Orange store in Spain store locator . With the purchase of 10 € they will give you another 5 € promocional credit (total 15 €). This extra credit is marked "saldo promocional" and can be used only for domestic calls, texts and data within 30 days, while regular balance stays valid for 365 days at least. Topups can be made almost everywhere in the country. Again, you will be awarded extra "saldo promocional" for every recharge.
Data feature packsEdit
The Mundo SIM has 3 packages to choose from. It can be set at purchase, online or by app in the client's area. The are valid for 30 days and renew automatically if credit is available. Overuse or out of bundle use is charged by 0.363 € per 10 MB.
- 500 MB, 6 € per month
- 1 GB, 9 € per month
- 2 GB, 15 € per month
Activation at purchase, online in the client's area, by app or by texting "Alta Mundo <pack size>" to 470. If having used up all data, you can renew the packs ahead of time by sending a free SMS to 470 with the following text: "Renovación Mundo <pack size>", For pack size fill in 500MB, 1GB or 2GB and be sure to have enough credit. Deactivation by changing to Mundo SIM without data pack by app or in the client's area.
Other prepaid tariffsEdit
Online in the client's area "mi Orange" or by calling customer service, all prepaid tariffs of Orange are interchangeable. A Mundo SIM can be changed to or from:
- Tarifa Ardilla (squirrel): no base rate. Data add-on of 200 MB for 3 EUR per month
- Tarifa Ballena (whale): 8.95 EUR/month including 1 GB of data and free domestic calls with a flagfee of 0.18 EUR per call. Ballena can be used in laptops, tablets and dongles in addition to smartphones, and tethering is allowed. If you have used up your 1 GB data allowance for the month, you can buy another 1 GB for another 8.95 EUR.
EU roaming optionEdit
The EU roaming option called "Go Europe" can be booked on this SIM. Once enabled, all EU roaming data on Orange's roaming partners will be billed automatically like this: 100 MB in 24 hours for 1 € (tax incl.). For more details see our European Union section here in detail.
Orange used not to provide a tethering profile for iPhones (Note: as of December 2014, I have been able to make it work seamlessly. Tethering may be possible finally with Orange Mundo - not confirmed!). So you couldn't tether from your iPhone (unless you change the firmware). But tethering is not blocked generally, but possible from all non-Apple smartphones working on Android, Windows, Blackberry etc. as well as tablets, routers and modems.
- APN: orangeworld
- VoIP not allowed but may be possible
- micro-, mini- and nano-SIMs available
- more info in English: Orange
Though Movistar has the best network in the country, as a visitor on prepaid you should better stay away from Movistar. On its own brand, they only sell this one (overpriced) prepaid option (see below) and transfer all other prepaid customers to their sub-brand tuenti (see further below) with a catch when buying as a foreigner in shops. For a major operator, better turn to Vodafone for LTE; or to be on Movistar network, go to one of its MVNOs without having LTE.
10 EUR with 10 EUR credit in every Movistar store.
Data feature packEdit
Tarifa Internet 5: 400 MB high speed in 30 days for 5 €. Upsize: Bono Extra 50 MB for 0.75 €.
The pack can be susbcribed by texting ALTATARIFA5 to 1200. The pack will renew every month. To unsubscribe text BAJATARIFA5 to 1200, to buy upsize text ALTABONO to 1200. This is for now the only data package movistar offers to prepaid costumers, they refer to tuenti móvil instead (see below).
Off tarif data costs approximately 2.50 € per day, with a full speed quota of 250 MB with reduced speeds afterwards, though the slow down may not occur at 250 MB.
Micro, Mini, Nano
- APN: movistar.es
- Tethering works on daily tarif and seems allowed as per movistar.es tether faq
Tuenti is a sub-brand of Telefónica using the Movistar network in 2G and 3G and gives still the best coverage in Spain
Their SIM card is free, but you have to choose one of their packages right away. Special rules apply to foreigners with registration in shops, see below. You have to download the tuenti app free from iStore or Google Play. The SIM has to be combined with a tuenti profile (available in English) on which the card is managed. tuenti is a social messenger similar to Whatsapp. Navigate to "mobile" or "móvil" on the menue of the app. Only one SIM can always be associated with one specific email address.
The remaining balance ist valid for use within 6 month. After this time the network will fall into hibernation. No calls, SMS or data can be sent or received. You have to top up 5 € or more within another 6 month period. If you don't do that, your number and your balance will be lost. If you topup min. 5 € your line and balance will be reactivated for another 6 month period of usage. If there is no remaining balance for a 6 month period the card will be deactivaded without the possibility to reactivate.
Extra rules for foreignersEdit
Legally they are not allowed to discriminate foreigners, but tuenti has invented some special rules for them: In physical stores like Movistar shops you can do the registration only by showing your passport. Unlike holders of Spanish ID cards (DNI, NIE) you must pay 25 € and the only option to choose is the 7 € package. The rest will be given as a 18 € card balance. In the following month, you will have a free choice. Thus tuenti seems to try to hold on to you.
This strange policy is not enforced if you order it online. You can use your passport ID or Spanish ID cards (called DNI and NIE) online and pay with a credit card or cash-on-delivery and choose any package you like. They'll send it to any Spanish address like your hotel.
Data feature packEdit
These monthly packs are offered:
- 1 GB: 7 € with 70 minutes VOZDigital (see below)
- 1 GB: 12 € with unlimited VOZDigital
- 2 GB: 18 € with unlimited VOZDigital
When 80% of data are used, tuenti offers by SMS and online a "Bonoplus". These addons give 300 MB extra for 3 € or 500 MB extra for 5 €, 1 GB is also possible, but only within the running time of the initial pack. They can be booked several times but are not transferable to the next package month.
Otherwise overuse is charged with 3c/MB. Online this default option can be changed to a complete cutoff when the included data is used up. Package and addons must be booked online using the tuenti app on the phone or website, navigating to "móvil" after the SIM is combined with the tuenti app. The package will automatically renew if there is enough credt. This can be disabled online.
VOZDigital (formerly called Zerolimites) Edit
This VoIP feature by which Telefónica tries to hype their social messenger called "tuenti :-)" is automatically activated when you book a package. It means that VoIP calls made through this app are free and will not be debited from your data allowance. The app can be installed on every iOS or and Android smartphone, but when you use other providers, you will be billed incoming for the data consumption. You can also create an account without an associated SIM online, and accept/call other tuenti members, via Chrome, Opera and even Firefox browsers. However, you need 3G, 4G, WI-FI or a landline data connection to use VOZDigital.
From their website, most Movistar stores, Telecor, FNAC and lots of other places: Tuenti points of sale. Recharges can be made using the Tuenti app or online using an international credit card. Topups can be bought at movistar stores too. From March 2014 tuenti móvil is finally sold on the Canary Islands too in 140 movistar stores for a slightly lower price because of the reduced tax rates there (see Basics above).
- If you call 2201 you will receive a SMS with balance and expiration date.
- APN: tuenti.com
- user: tuenti
- password: tuenti
- mini-SIM, micro-SIM and nano-SIM available.
Carrefour uses the Orange network on 2G and 3G.
SIM cards can be purchased online on the Carrefour website but this requires a Spanish fiscal number (NIE/NIF) and a Spanish postal address to be sent to. In Carrefour megastores (locations: store locator) it can be bought using a foreign passport and local Spanish (hotel) address for registration only. Note, that there are two different SIM cards on sale: the INTERNET móvil with data-only and the regular prepaid card with voice and data and a different tariff.
Credit can be displayed by calling *113# (for free up to 5 times per month). You can add credit online or in Carrefour supermarkets. Some tabacco shops and the Carrefour chains Día, Clarel and Schlecker offer credit for Carrefour Movil too.
Tarjeta Carrefour Internet Móvil Prepago (= prepaid data-only SIM):Edit
SIM costs 5 € without credit. It is a data SIM for data and SMS only, no voice calls.
- Tarifa diaria: default plan, no activation is necessary, 1.21 Euro per day (= 24 hrs), 100 MB at full 3G speed, thereafter speed is reduced to 128k. You are charged only for the days that you connect. A 3 € per month minimum spending applies (as long as you have credit).
- Bono 1 GB add on: 10 € for 30 days, 1 GB at full 3G speed, thereafter speed is reduced to 128k. Activation: by sending SMS to 22864 with "ALTA BONO 1GB". Deactivation: by sending "BAJA BONO 1GB" to 22864. Data balance check: by sending "BONO 1GB" to 22864 (5 free SMS per month)
- Bono 3 GB add on: 20 € for 30 days, 3 GB at full 3G speed, thereafter speed is reduced to 128k. Activation: by sending SMS to 22864 with "ALTA BONO 3GB". Deactivation and data balance check: see above.
Tarjeta prepago Carrefour (= prepaid voice and data SIM):Edit
The SIM costs 10 € with the same credit. You pay 0.50 Euro per day for 20 MB at full 3G speed, thereafter speed is reduced to 128 kbit/s. You are charged only for the days that you connect, but no data packages are offered on this tariff and it can't be changed to a data SIM. 3 € per month minimum spending applies (as long as you have credit).
Carrefour does not allow tethering. On the iPhone it is disabled, on Android devices possible anyway.
Make sure to use the right APN. You may have to manually change the APN on the iPhone, because on default it uses the wrong Orange APN.
- APN: CARREFOURINTERNET
- more information (in Spanish): Carrefour prepaid SIM
MÁSmovil is using the Orange network on 2G and 3G.
Sold in their Shops (Store locator) or online for 10 Euro with 10 Euro balance
Data feature packsEdit
Másmovil offers these prepaid (what they call pay-as-you-go) data-only bundles:
- 1 GB: 15 €
- 2 GB: 20 €
- 5 GB: 44 €
- 10 GB: 79 €
- APN: internetmas
- Tethering is allowed
- VoIP is allowed
- more info in English: Másmovil
Combi SIM and nano SIM available
HappyMóvil is only available at The PhoneHouse stores in Spain. Store Locator. It's a MVNO using the Orange network on 2G and 3G. You can compare tariffs at ThePhoneHouse as they sell Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, Yoigo and Lebara there too.
Only The PhoneHouse sells the product line HappyMóvil. The SIM card costs 15 € with the same credit on it. Two data packages are offered on the tarif line "Nacional" which can be used for calls as well.
- Bono mensual (= monthly package): 8.95 € for 1 GB high speed volume in 30 days. Overuse is charged with 11 cents/MB and the package renews automatically every month if there is credit.
- Bono a tu ritmo (= free package): 12 € for 1 GB high speed volume in a maximum of one month. This package automatically renews when the previous one is depleted and there is enough credit, otherwise 11 cents/MB.
All these packages can be booked or unsubscribed in store or by calling 2980. There is a monthly minimum of 2 € as long as you have credit. Top up agencies are hard to find, but most Spanish post offices (Correos) can do.
More Information Edit
- APN: internettph
- HappyMóvil sells discounted IDD phone calls, but with an high connection fee
- more info in Spanish: http://www.happymovil.es/
DIGI mobilEditWith DIGI mobil you get a Romanian and a Spanish number on one SIM. In Spain this MVNO operates on the good Movistar network on 2G and 3G.
The SIM card costs 10 € with 10 € credit. It is available online and offline only in a few shops: DIGI mobil shop locator. Top ups can be made there and in many kiosks where they are support the smaller MNVOs.
Data feature packEdit
- Naveg@500: 500 MB in 30 days: 5 €
- Naveg@1000: 1 GB in 30 days: 8 €
To subscribe go the USSD menu *100# choose option 2 "internet móvil" and 1 "Alta DIGI naveg@". This package will renew every month if there is credit. You can unsubscribe on the same menu with "Baja DIGI naveg@". After having used all package volume, speed will be reduced to GPRS or you can buy add-ons called "Extra":
- 200 MB: 2 €
- 500 MB: 5 €
- 1 GB: 8 €
- 2 GB: 14 €
Bear in mind that the extra add-ons always refer only to the original period of the monthly package and are not transferable to the next month. To buy an add on go online on your DIGI mobile account "Mi cuenta DIGI" or on the USSD menu *100# option 2 "internet móvil" and choose option 4 "Aumenta MB"..
- credit can be checked on *134# and data credit on *130# free of charge
- be sure to use the Spanish number (+34... ) in Spain and enable (domestic) roaming
- APN: internet.digimobil.es
- Username and Password: digi
hits mobileEditThis MVNO operates on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G giving good coverage and speed.
The SIM can be bought for 5 EUR with 10 EUR credit online with free shipping in 7 days if you have a local Spanish address. Offline, they are sold in kiosks and other agencies. Unfortunately, they don't have a list of distributors but you can ask for the nearest store by calling [tel: 800 654321] (free within Spain). Top-ups can be made online with international credit cards.
Data feature packEdit
The default rate for internet is 5 cents per MB as long as no package is activated. They have the following packs:
- 250 MB: 3.90 €
- 500 MB: 5.90 €
- 1 GB: 9.90 €
- 3 GB: 24.90 €
The packs are for one month exactly lasting until the previous day of booking in the following month. When all volume is used, you will surf on the default rate or can buy a new package ahead of time. All packages renew automatically after one month if there is enough credit. To activate the package simply send a free SMS to 22321 containing the word BONO followed by the chosen volume, to deactivate BAJA BONO ##### and to renew ahead of time RENUEVA BONO #####.
- APN for smartphones: tel.hitsmobile.es
- APN for routers and modems: pc.hitsmobile.es
- the whole website is available in English: hits mobile
Lebara móvilEditThis MVNO of the British Lebara Group has been heavily marketed and operates in Spain on the Vodafone network in 2G and 3G giving good coverage and speeds.
The SIM can be bought online on the Website of Lebara Spain (available in English) to be sent to a Spanish address or offline from a lot of kiosks and phone shops all around the country: Store finder (mark: SIM). It is sold for 10 EUR with the same amount of credit loaded. Topups can be made there and some other stores which all are clearly marked with the Lebara logo or online with international credit cards.
Data feature packEdit
Default rate is expensive 0.29 EUR per MB which is charged without booking a package or for overuse. So buy a package. The following monthly data packages are available. For activation send SMS with the code.
- 250 MB: 5 EUR. Activation: DATA250 to 22333
- 500 MB: 7.50 EUR. Activation: DATA750 to 22333
- 1 GB: 8 EUR. Activation: DATA1GB to 22333.
- 2 GB: 14 EUR. Activation: DATA2GB to 22333
- 3 GB: 25 EUR. Activation: DATA3GB to 22333
- 500 MB add-on to all the passes above for 5 EUR. Activation: D500 to 22333
All passes are valid for 30 days. There is no way to reactivate them ahead of time. You can only buy the 500 MB addon. All passes will automatically renew every 30 days if there is credit. To stop text NODATA### (### = size of pack) to 22333.
- APN: gprsmov.lebaramobile.es
- No tethering on iPhones, as Lebara doesn't give out a profile, but possible on other devices.
- All of their website is available in english, check for further details and offers
LycamobileEditLycamobile is the main competitor of Lebara on the international ethno market. In Spain Lycamobile is a MVNO on the good Movistar network of Telefónica in 2G and 3G.
Startup costs Edit
Their SIM can be ordered online on their website free of charge to be sent to a spanish address for free. Offline they can be found in internet and phone shops and other kiosks. They don't have a store locator, so they might not be so easy to find. One store near La Rambla in Barcelona is here.
In the Lycamobile branded stores the SIM is the cheapest. It may be free or for a small fee, depending on shop, but requiring an immediate top uu: Prices range from 10 EUR with 5 EUR credit to 7.50 EUR with 7.50 EUR credit (which is 5 EUR credit and 2.50 EUR bonus credit).
Topups can be made in their agencies as well as online using an international credit card. For recharges on the standard plan, you will be awarded 50% bonus. 5€ -> 7.50 €, 10€ -> 15€, 20€ ->30€, 30€ ->45€.
Data feature packEdit
Default rate is 14.5c per MB in the Standard plan and 3.6c per MB in the Plan Ahorro, charged when the bundle is used up.
To change from the default standard plan to "Plan Ahorro" type *201*101# and follow the instructions or send a text message with "PLANAHORRO" to 2525. Note that by changing to "Plan Ahorro" you won't be able to get the 50% bonus on the standard plan anymore when topping up. So right now, it's not much use for purchasing packages, as data on the standard plan are around 50% more expensive than on the Ahorro Plan:
|Data Volume||Standard Plan||Plan Ahorro||Activation Code|
|250 MB||5.00 EUR||3.25 EUR||9050|
|600 MB||7.50 EUR||5.00 EUR||9100|
|1 GB||7.50 EUR||5.00 EUR||9150|
|2 GB||14.00 EUR||9.00 EUR||9300|
|3 GB||25.00 EUR||16.50 EUR||9400|
Activation is done by sending a SMS containing an activation code to 3535. The promotional packs of the Plan Ahorro can only be booked after having changed to this plan. Remember, you won't get any bonus, when topping up. All packs will renew automatically after one month if there is enough credit. To unsubscribe call costurmer service on 321 or #93 from Lycamobile.
You can check your remaining credit balance with *221# and your data balance with *137#.
- APN: data.lycamobile.es
- Username: lmes (that's lowcase L, not capital i)
- Password: plus
- strictly no tethering: Lycamobile doesn't give out a profile and tries to block tethering by sniffer programs. You can use it in all kinds of 3G devices, but not simultanously.
- the whole Lycamobile website is available in English. Check for further details and offers.
Cellhire in the UK rents a data SIM card with optional MiFi rental for Spain.
Cellhire offers a 10 GB Data SIM Card with 3G and 4G data on the Orange network for the monthly rental fee of £39.99. A 3G MiFi can be added for an extra £10 or a 4G MiFi for an extra £27.99. Data SIM and MiFi are for rent on a 30 day rolling contract and have to be returned.
When the 10 GB bundle runs out, speed is throttled, but you can continue to use data at no charge. You'll need to pay £10 in advance as a refundable deposit. 4G coverage is limited and isn't available everywhere in Spain (check Orange coverage). You will sign a 30 day rolling contract which will continue until you return the SIM and MiFi. This is not a prepaid product! Delivery fees to the EU are not specified but for a similar product in France they charge GBP 30 for delivery. The device is not insured and all liability for loss or damage is on the renter.