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Telephones in Spain


Telephones, Telephone Lines, Answer Phones and Telefonica Movistar in Spain

If you live in Spain the bad news is that you can only get a land line installed or provided by Movistar, previously called Telefonica.

The telephone system in Spain is dominated by the formerly state-owned Telefónica. Public telephones are either coin or card (tarjetas telefónicas) operated. Telephone cards can be purchased in post offices, newsagents and
kiosks or tobacco stores (estancos) that have the sign Tabacos outside. Telefónica also operates public phone sites (locutorios) where you pay the attendant at the end of your call. For international calls there are several calling card companies that operate using pre-paid cards and these cost significantly less than calling using coins.

However the good news is that you do not have to use Telefonica for your telephone calls. Now Telefonica no longer has a monopoly there are a number of competing cheap telephone call companies you can use and in doing so you will save yourself a small fortune on your Spanish telephone bills.


Landline Telephones

Telefónica is the national supplier of landline telephone service, cellular/mobile telephone service (Movistar), Internet and ADSL. Long-distance and Internet service may be obtained through other providers, but the basic landline will still be provided through Telefónica.

Tel: 1004 (only from phones in Spain; say “English” at the prompts to be connected to an English-speaking operator)

The following information may be required when contacting the call service:
Telefonica bill (if available) or a recent utility (electricity) bill
NIE and passport number
Bank account details


Getting a telephone line installed

Telefónica is the only company authorised to install lines in Spain; there may be lengthy delays (many months) for installation, particularly in new developments or areas that are rural, difficult-to-reach or have rough terrain.

To obtain a new phone line, it is necessary to contact Telefónica directly. The Telefónica 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.


Getting a telephone line connected

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.

To reconnect a phone line, contact Telefónica directly.


Mobile phones

Spain uses GSM 900/1800 mobile phones (teléfono movil) a system which is compatible with the rest of Europe, but not with North America or Japan.


National Telephone Dailing Codes

Country Code of Spain: 34
Barcelona: 93
Cadiz: 956
Madrid: 91
Malaga: 952
Palma De Mallorca: 971
Sevilla: 95
Valencia: 96
Torremolinos: 952
Mobile telephone numbers: 6NN NNN NNN
Toll Free within Spain: 900 NNN NN


Bringing your UK telephone with you

Spain uses standard ATandT RJ-11 connectors for its phone system, and so if using a British telephone, you will either need to change the cable or use a BT431A to RJ-11 adapter, available from UK computer shops.

Note that because the UK phone system uses a third wire to trigger ringing, a BT master socket to RJ11 plug adapter will be required for telephones, faxes or inbound modem use.


Telefonica Movistar Answerphone service (change language to English)

When you contract with Telefonica for a land line they normally install a Telefonica Domo manual hand set which offers answer phone services.

To find out if you have a message you depress the top left centre button (Mensajes) to clear a message press 3 or it will continually repeat.

When the phone is installed all messages will be in Spanish, to convert to English speaking messages carry out the following-

Pick up the handset and press key CONTESTADOR, then replace the handset
Lift handset and press the Mensajes key
When the message you hear ends, press the key 1
When the next message ends, press the key 4
Now enter a four figure code, 0000 or any code you wish that you can remember
When the next message you hear ends press key 3
When the next message ends press key 1
Finally after one last message press key 1 again
Replace the handset.
Now when the phone rings and you do not answer, after 5 rings the answer phone recorder will tape any message left.

You may check for calls at any time by lifting the receiver and pressing Mensajes, it will answer in English.

International Dialing Codes

The International network access code when phoning from Spain add 00, plus the country code. When phoning from other countries, check with the relevant international operator service.

Antigua/Barbuda + 1 268
Argentina + 54
Buenos Aires 11
Australia + 61
Austria + 43
Bahamas + 1 242
Barbados + 1 246
Belarus + 375
Minsk 17
Belgium + 32
Brazil + 55
Bulgaria + 359
Canada + 1
Chile + 56
China + 86
Cuba + 53
Czech Republic + 420
Denmark + 45
Estonia + 372
Finland + 358
France + 33
Germany + 49
Greece + 30
Greenland + 299
Grenada + 1 473
Hong Kong SAR + 852
Hungary + 36
Iceland + 354
India + 91
Indonesia + 62
Ireland, Republic of + 353
Israel + 972
Italy + 39
Jamaica + 1 876
Japan + 81
Kazakhstan + 7
Kenya + 254
Lebanon + 961
Lithuania + 370
Luxembourg + 352
Malaysia + 60
Malta + 356
Martinique + 596
Mexico + 52
Morocco + 212
Netherlands + 31
New Zealand + 64
Norway + 47
Peru + 51
Philippines + 63
Poland + 48
Portugal + 351
Puerto Rico + 1 787
Romania + 40
Russian Federation + 7
St Lucia + 1 758
Singapore + 65
Slovak Republic + 421
Slovenia + 386
South Africa + 27
Spain + 34
Sweden + 46
Switzerland + 41
Thailand + 66
Trinidad & Tobago + 1 868
Tunisia + 216
Turkey + 90
Ukraine + 380
United Kingdom + 44
United States + 1
Uruguay + 598
UK Virgin Islands + 1 284
US Virgin Islands + 1 340
Venezuela + 58
Vietnam + 84
Zimbabwe + 263

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