Compañia Telefónica Nacional de España (CNTE) operates the Spanish telephone service. It is also known simply as Telefónica. Nowadays there's Terra, Teleline and many other companies that are partially or fully owned by Telefónica.
Your relationship with a telephone service provider is based on a consumer contract. When shopping around, it is important to compare the different terms and conditions, which apply in different contracts. These may include, for example, prices for line rental and calls. Before you change contracts, it is wise to know the specific terms and conditions of your current contract so that you can compare them to the terms and conditions of a new contract.
You should also review a few of your most recent telephone bills and establish your calling pattern (i.e. what type of calls you frequently make and at what time of day), and then shop around and ask the different companies about their call charges.
You should ask each operator to provide you with a printed price list in order to check and compare tariffs.
Spanish phone numbers are composed of 9 numbers and are usually presented in this format: (xx or xxx – for the area code) xxx xxx (the 6/7 digits phone number). Even if calls are made from mobile phones, they always require the full area code and phone number.
The country code for Spain is 34.
The telephone code (also called area code) is a numeric cypher that you must dial before entering the phone number you wish to call. This code belongs to one of the 50 provinces (geographic and political division) in Spain.
To find out the one that belongs to each area, follow this link.
To call abroad from Spain, dial 00 + country code + number
The country code for Spain is +34, both for . To call Spanish numbers from abroad, you should dial the area code without the first zero after the country code.
Dial 00 + 34 (country code) + area code (without the first zero) + number
To have a telephone installed or reconnected, you must usually visit the local Telefónica office. Take along your passport or residence card (residencia), proof of your address such as a recent electricity bill, and a copy of your property deed (escritura) or rental contract.
The majority of buildings already have the necessary infrastructure for a phone line in place. Therefore all you have to do is select your favourite provider, contact them, and arrange a date for installation. In case there are problems with the infrastructure, the provider will offer to assist you further by offering suitable alternative solutions.
The majority of providers offer service packages that, in addition to a phone line, also include an Internet connection and interactive TV.
The following ones are the most common providers:
There are two primary tariffs in Spain: national and international. See that since 2017 mobile phone customers will be also charged the domestic retail price for calls, texts and data when travelling in the European Economic Area (EEA).
Itemized bills (factura detallada) are provided monthly with the date and time, duration, number of units and the charge. Bills can be paid in cash at certain Banks or via a bank account. You can also have your telephone bills paid by direct debit (transferencia) from a bank account, which is advisable for holiday-home owners as it ensures that you aren't disconnected for non-payment.
Telephone directories (Guías Telefónicas) in Spain are published by province. Each province has its own telephone book and code number. The directories for the province where you reside or have your business are provided free of charge.
The most common one distributed for free is: Páginas amarillas
Payphones are almost nonexistent in Spain. Only 18.000 payphones are still in use (over 55.000 in the end of the 90's). Madrid is home to 1000 of them.
Major phone companies have been progressively withdrawing due to the high level of penetration of mobile phones in the country.
There is an increasing amount of good quality online and mobile services that provide opportunities for calling and sending messages free of charge. For more information take a look at our article Expats Connect: Skype and Other Services.
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