Communications in Spain

Spain offers a range of communications methods including internet, telephone and mobile phones. There are many options to choose from so it is recommended that expats get the best offer available by obtaining quotes from different countries.


Spain has many options to get internet access. The least expensive option is dial up internet, this is for those who do not use the internet very much but it is limiting options as you are not able to use the telephone when connected to the internet.  Internet providers have plans for dial up options such as billing by the minute.

Broadband – Spain has the lowest rates for broadband services as facilities are limited in the rural areas, however the cost of broadband is quite expensive. This is one of the best options for those who will use the internet on a regular basis as it is much faster than dial up services. Internet providers have a range of tariffs which may include the cost of hardware installation and for this an engineer will need to do this.

WiMax Broadband – Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave access is based on a wireless signal and is used in rural areas when there is limited internet access. Companies who provide this service are Iberbanda and Aeromax.

To get connected to the internet, expats will need to show ID document and then call the provider to install the connection. As well as the ID document, a copy of your passport or visa documents will be needed and a copy of the tenancy document. The set up can take up to 20 days but this can depend on the area you are living in.

For standard internet services the main provider is Telefonica. This is one of the largest telecommunication companies which have more than 300 million customers in the world.


There are a variety of landline services in Spain but the most popular one used is Telefonica who provide the lines for other service providers as well as many other services. Expats will need to contact Telefonica to have a phone line installed as they are the only providers who can authorise this. In rural areas, residents could be waiting months for an installation

If the property you have moved to have a phone lined installed, you will just need to validate that the line is live and then you will be able to transfer the account. This is less expensive than getting a new line installed. This can be done in advance of your move as it can save time. If the line is not live, you will be required to contact the provider for it to be reactivated.

Bills can be sent via post, email or online on the Telefonica website. They usually send bills every two months and the company does have a restricting policy if payments have not been received. The payment can be paid by direct debit, online, over the phone or at the bank.

When making a call in the country, you will be charged by the minute and depending on what time you are making the call the costs can vary.

Mobile Phones

The mobile phone services in the country do vary and operate on the GSM network so most phones which are used in Europe can be used in Spain. Phones which have been bought in the US will work on the CDMA system and cannot be used in the country.

You have the option to choose between pre-paid and contract basis for mobile phones and when a new SIM card is purchased you will be asked to show an ID. The contracts vary according to the provider and monthly tariffs. Bills will be sent monthly or pre-paid cards can be purchased. Orange and Vodafone are two of the popular mobile phone providers in Spain.

Postal Services

Mail which is sent within Spain can take up to three days to arrive and post within Europe can take 4 days. Post codes have 5 digits and an online search is available on the websites.

Those who want to send something internationally will need to mark the parcel with ‘prioritario’ which indicates it’s an international delivery. The three international delivery services are EMS postal express, Priority International delivery and an economy delivery. You may also be required to complete a customs declaration.

Spain has more than 1000 post offices across the country which can also be found in airports and railway stations.