The main problem with internet access in Spain is that it usually takes at least a month to get a telephone line connected and the speed of the broadband is not great.
Mobile Internet in Spain
Both Vodafone and Orange offer mobile internet through their network. You need to purchase a USB mini router which plugs into your computer and service is available as soon as your contract is activated. Obviously the quality of the line is dependent on the reception in your area, but it’s possible to check this before you purchase and most areas in Barcelona are covered.
You can sign a contract or pay-as-you-go:
Cheap International Phone Calls
Rather than using coins in the public phones it’s often easier to buy a phone card (una tarjeta para llamar por teléfono) for either €6 or €12 from one of the Tabac shops or from most newspaper stands.
Another cheap way to phone, nationally and abroad (although much less convenient), is by using one of the many private telephone booth shops or Locutorios (internet cafés often offer this service too). You make your phone call and pay cash when you’re finished. However, using an over-ride provider is even cheaper.
Use an over-ride provider
Most recommended way to save money on dialling overseas or nationally is to use an over-ride telephone provider such asLocalphone or Dial Abroad. Use Local phone to make calls to landlines and mobiles overseas for less than half the price that Telefonica or Vodafone would charge for the same call. Calls from my landline and mobile phone using Local phone to a fixed line in the UK cost me about €0.01 per minute.
You can of course use a VoIP provider such as Skype, but sometimes the call quality is not great, and these days many people don’t actually have a fixed line only a mobile phone, and mobile calls over Skype are not so cheap. Also, many service providers, such as Vodafone, don’t allow VoIP to landline calls, only VoIP to VoIP calls such as Skype video calling. Of course many people don’t obey this rule, but it has been known for Vodafone to make charges for using VoIP from your mobile to call fixed lines and other mobiles.
It’s difficult to beat Local phone on their service and prices, but another option if you have a Movistar landline is Dial Abroad. With Dial Abroad you don’t even have to prepay and you don’t need a credit card. Call from anywhere in Spain by simply dialing an access number before the number you needs to call. You’re then transferred to the Dial Abroad cheaper network and the cost of your call is included in your Movistar bill. Movistar charge you a small connection fee, but you can make follow-up calls without a connection fee by pressing the hash key twice, rather than hanging up, and then dialling the next number you want to call. Dial Abroad are not as cheap as Localphone but you can still save money by using them rather than Telefonica.