Network technology and CoverageEdit
Spain has 4 network operators: Movistar (owned by Telefónica), Vodafone, Orange and Yoigo. All others are resellers or MVNOs of the operators. The country is covered by 2G and mostly by 3G up to HSPA+. Nationwide Movistar has the best coverage, followed by Vodafone and Orange. Yoigo is a 3G and 4G only network roaming free on Movistar elsewhere giving a good coverage.
|Movistar||900, 1800 MHz||900, 2100 MHz||1800 MHz|
|Vodafone||900, 1800 MHz||900, 2100 MHz||1800, 2600 MHz|
|Orange||900, 1800 MHz||900, 2100 MHz||1800, 2600 MHz|
|Yoigo||1800 MHz||2100 MHz||1800 MHz|
Vodafone launched LTE in May 2013 by using the 1800 and 2600 MHz frequency. Orange started LTE in July 2013 by using the same frequencies as Vodafone. On 18 July 2013 Yoigo started LTE by using the 1800 MHz frequency. For prepaid customers LTE is up to now only available for Vodafone's yu line (see below).
To purchase a SIM card in a store in Spain, an ID (DNI = ID card or passport) is needed. As a tourist without steady 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 city or shopping center. Their support may be better and reloads can be made almost everywhere. But this has a extra price.
- to go to an agency of the smaller resellers or 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, 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/moviData
- 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 and the Canary IslandsEdit
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.
Carrefour uses the orange network.
Tarjeta Carrefour Internet Móvil Prepago (= prepaid data SIM):Edit
SIM costs 5 € without credit. It is a data SIM for data and SMS only, no calls.
- Tarifa diaria: This is the default plan for carrefour data SIM cards, no activation is necessary for 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 3.63 Euro/month minimum spending applies (as long as you have credit).
- Bono 1GB add on:22.99 Euro for 30 days, 1GB at full 3G speed, thereafter speed is reduced to 128k. Enable this plan by sending SMS to 22864 with the text ALTA BONO 1GB. Quit the plan by sending BAJA BONO 1GB to 22864. Check the amount of data you have used by sending BONO 1GB to 22864
- Bono 3GB add on: 35.09 Euro for 30 days, 3GB at full 3G speed, thereafter speed is reduced to 128k. Make sure that you have enough balance on your SIM card (at least 35 Euro). Enable the plan by sending SMS to 22864 with the text ALTA BONO 3GB. Check the amount of data you have used by sending BONO 3GB to 22864 (5 free SMS per month)
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 128k. You are charged only for the days that you connect. No data packages are offered on this tariff. It can't be changed to a data SIM. A 3 euro/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.
The prices above exclude IVA, so add 21%. SIM card can be purchased online on the carrefour website but this requires a Spanish fiscal number (NIE/NIF). In the Carrefour megastores (locations: store locator) it can be bought using a foreign passport and local Spanish (hotel) address. Credit can be displayed by calling *113#. You can add credit online or in Carrefour and El Dia supermarkets. Some tabacco shops and the drugstore chain Schlecker offer credit for Carrefour Movil too.
Make sure to use the right APN. You may have to manually change the APN on the iPhone, because it default uses the Orange APN.
- APN: carrefourinternet
- more information (in spanish): Carrefour prepaid SIM
MÁSmovil is using the Orange network.
10 Euro with 10 Euro balance
Data feature packsEdit
Másmovil only offers one prepaid (what they call pay-as-you-go) data-only bundle:
"Plan Zero - Prepago 5": 500 MB high speed volume in 30 days for 5 €. Exeeding the data quota, speed will be throttled. The other bundles include domestic calls and texts: Másmovil prepaid packages
- In their Shops (Store locator) or online
- APN: internetmas
- Tethering is allowed
- VoIP is allowed
- more info in english: Másmovil
Combi SIM and nano SIM available
moviData and happymóvilEdit
MoviData and HappyMóvil are only available at ThePhoneHouse stores in Spain.
Store Locator Both are using the orange network with APN: internettph
The SIM costs 30 € in all stores of ThePhoneHouse with 30 € credit. It is a data only sim with 2 options:
- Tarifa plana diana (= day package): for up to 100 MB high speed in one calender day (0-23.59 h) for 3.02 €. Beyond 100 MB the speed is reduced to 64 kbps.
- Tarifa plana mensual (= monthly package): for up to 1 GB in 30 days for 20.50 €. Beyond this limit, a new package is activated automatically if there is enough credit, otherwise 0.06 €/MB are charged.
Alternatively, ThePhoneHouse sells the product line happymóvil which can be a better deal. The SIM costs 15 € with the same credit on it. Two data packages are offered on the tarif "Nacional" which can be used for calls as well.
- Bono mensual (= monthly package): 9 € for 1 GB high speed volume in 30 days. Overuse is charged with 7.2 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 no time frame. This package automatically renews when the previous one is depleted and there is enough credit, otherwise 7.2 cents/MB.
All these packages can be booked or unsubscribed in store or by calling 2980. There is a monthly minimum of 2 €. The product lines moviData and happymóvil can't be switched, but reloads are interchangeable. Top up places can be hard to find, but every post office (Correos) can do.
Movistar (by Telefónica)Edit
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 250MB with reduced speeds afterwards, though the slow down may not occur at 250.
Micro, Mini, Nano
- APN: movistar.es
- Tethering functions on daily tarif and seems allowed as per movistar.es tether faq
Network: GSM (GPRS), UMTS, HSDPA, HSUPA. LTE is not available for prepaid yet, but only for contract customers. In 2014 Orange improved the rates for their Mundo SIM. As all other prepaid schemes have a base rate, the Mundo SIM is shown below.
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 . Topups can be made almost everywhere in the country.
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. These packs can't be renewed ahead of time.
- 500 MB, 6 € per month
- 1 GB, 9 € per month
- 2 GB, 15 € per month
EU roaming optionEdit
The EU roaming option called "Go Europe" can be booked on this SIM by activating it in the client's area (área de clientes) online or by app. 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 European Union section of this WIKI.
Orange does not provide a tethering profile for iPhones. So you can'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
Tuenti is using the Movistar network giving best speed and coverage in Spain
12 € (tax incl.) for new SIM card with 1 GB data included, the rest is credit. 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. Foreigners see below.
Surcharge for foreignersEdit
Legally they are not allowed to discriminate at least EU citizens. That's how they do it anyway: Beginning 2014 they imposed a 25 € surcharge for registrations with a passport in shops. This is not charged if ordered online. National ID cards of other countries (which are valid in Spain) are not accepted, but only the Spanish ID cards (called DNI and NIE) to avoid the surcharge. So if you know somebody with a Spanish DNI/NIE let him register the card on his/her name, if you don't, look for other options or order it online to be sent to a Spanish address.
Data feature packEdit
- 1 GB / € 6 (for one month)
- The 3 GB pack has been discontinued and is no longer available
- 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 € 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 3 cents per 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
This free feature by which Telefónica tries to hype their social messenger "tuenti :-)" is automatically activated when you book a package. It means that all messaging (pics, texts etc.) and VoIP calls made through this tuenti app are completely free and will not be debited from your data allowance. Free VoIP calls can be made if both sides are using the tuenti app and tuenti móvil as long as the data packs are active. The app can be installed on every iOs or and Android smartphone, but when you use other providers, you will be billed for the data consumption.
From their website, some but not all 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 (surcharge to foreigners applies, see above)..
- APN: tuenti.com
- user: tuenti
- password: tuenti
- mini-SIM, micro-SIM and nano-SIM available.
Vodafone was the first network which opened 4G to prepaid customers on Vodafone yu in May 2014. It has a limited 4G/LTE coverage in about 90 towns in the country which can be checked here: Vodafone 4G coverage map
Internet móvil prepago:Edit
Internet móvil prepago is a prepaid data only SIM on 2G and 3G with the following package options:
|Diaria 250 MB||4,10 €||250 MB||24 hours||<default>|
|Fin de Semana||10.89 €||500 MB||3 days||C QUI|
|Semanal||18.15 €||1 GB||7 days||C SEM|
|Mensual 100 MB||9.68 €||100 MB||30 days||C BAS|
|Mensual 500 MB||18.15 €||500 MB||30 days||C AVA|
|Mensual 1 GB||22,99 €||1 GB||30 days||C PRE|
|Mensual 2 GB||38,72 €||2 GB||30 days||C MES|
Sold in a Vodafone's stores for 19 € with 1 GB preloaded valid for 3 months. You can top up the card in 5€ steps almost everywhere. To activate package text code to 2207.
You can check your prepaid SIM credit balance by calling *134# on the phone dial. Be aware that the balance check costs 17 cent (sometimes 18 cent...) each check!
Unlike the other operators Vodafone hasn't outsourced their "youth line" but sells it cheaply in their stores. The SIM is sometimes free in promotions but can be up to 12 € with no credit. Vodafone yu is a "smart" tariff with data, domestic calls and texts included which opened 4G/LTE in May 2014 to prepaid customers. It is sold in 3 packages:
- Yuser: 600 MB, 20 domestic minutes, 20 domestic SMS per month for 10 €.
- Superyuser: 1.2 GB, 60 domestic minutes, 60 domestic SMS per month for 15 €.
- Megayuser: 1.6 GB, 100 domestic minutes, unlimited domestic SMS per month for 20 €.
Note: add 5 € to the above prices if you require a nano-SIM
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 the to renew same plan via the menu. As long as you have money in the account you can do that (ie we preloaded 60 EUR and reloaded a few times from the phone).
They sell this SIM card aimed at international tourists for 5 € (tax incl.) in their shops with 5 € credit. Their international call rates may be not competitive if you use VoIP. But you can book a 300 MB data package for 5 € on 2G and 3G valid for 30 days by typing *313*22# <call>. This is a very easy way to get a small data amount from a lot of shops. Thats the only package for this card, but it can be renewed anytime. Their SIM "Vodafone fácil" works very similar and has the same package option.
Technical information for Vodafone:Edit
- APN for smartphones: airtelnet.es
- APN for modems or routers; ac.vodafone.es
- Username: vodafone
- Password: vodafone
Yoigo has 3G UMTS on 2100 MHz and 4G LTE on 1800 MHz. For 2G it roams in the network of movistar for free. LTE is not yet available for prepaid.
20 Euro with 20 Euro balance and 20 SMS in all yoigo stores
Data feature packEdit
La del Uno: 600 MB high speed volume per month for 7.26 €. In the first month the tariff is reduced by 50%.
After having used the included data, speed is reduced to 64 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 1.20€/day at 384 kbps.
- APN: internet
Mini SIM, Micro sim, Nano SIM
DIGI mobilEditWith DIGI mobil you get a romanian and a spanish number on one SIM. In Spain this MVNO operates on the excellent movistar network.
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
For this SIM only one data pack called naveg@ is available for 500 MB high speed volume in one month for 5 EUR (tax incl.).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 unscubscribe 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 more for 2 EUR, 500 MB extra for 5 EUR or another 1 GB for 10 EUR. 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 Bono Extra.
- 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 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 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: 4.72 €
- 500 MB: 5.93 €
- 1 GB: 10.77 €
- 3 GB: 25.29 €
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 english Lebara Group has been heavily marketed and operates in Spain on the Vodafone network 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 0.182 EUR/MB which is charged without booking a package or for overuse.
The following data packages are available. For activation send SMS.
- 250 MB in 30 days for 5 EUR. Activation: DATA250 to 22333
- 500 MB in 30 days for 7.50 EUR. Activation: DATA750 to 22333
- 1 GB in 30 days for 10 EUR. Activation: DATA1GB to 22333. This 1 GB pack is promoted for 7.50 EUR, but for the first month only.
- 3 GB in 30 days for 25 EUR. Activation: DATA3GB to 22333
- 100 MB addon to all the passes above for 3 EUR. Activation: D100 to 22333
All passes will automatically renew every month 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 excellent movistar network of Telefónica.
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 and are not so visible from outside as Lebara is, so they might not be so easy to find. In stores the SIM is free, but you have to do a topup right away. Topups can be made in their agencies as well as online using an international credit card.
Data feature packEdit
Default rate is 0.145 EUR per MB in the standard plan and 0.036 EUR per MB in the Plan Ahorro, charged when the bundle is used up.
To change from the default standard plan to "Plan Ahorro" send a text message with "PLANAHORRO" to 2525 or type *201*101# and follow the instructions.
Activation is done by sending a SMS containing an activation code. to 3535. The promotional packs (-50%) of the Plan ahorro can only be booked after having changed to this plan.
|Data Volume||Standard Plan||Plan Ahorro||Activation Code|
|250 MB||5.00 EUR||2.50 EUR||9050|
|600 MB||7.50 EUR||3.75 EUR||9100|
|1 GB||7.50 EUR||3.75 EUR||9150|
|2 GB||12.00 EUR||6.00 EUR||9300|
|3 GB||25.00 EUR||12.00 EUR||9400|
All packs will renew automatically after one month if there is enough credit. To unsubscribe call costurmer service on 321 or #93 from Lycamobile.
- APN: data.lycamobile.es
- Username: lmes (that's lowcase L, not capital i)
- Password: plus
- No tethering: Lycamobile doesn't give out a profile and tries to block tethering by sniffer programs
- The whole Lycamobile website is available in english. Check for further details and offers.