Spain’s high telephone bill

Can it be done cheaper?

Spain has many foreign residents, whom all keep in touch with their family and friends back home. The telephone is thus often a large expense.

Almost all fixed line connections in Spain are owned by Telefónica. Officially they no longer have a monopoly in the Spanish market of telecommunications, but they still dominate the market. New private installations of a telephone line including ADSL internet often have all local and national calls included in the monthly fee. The international calling costs are however still extremely high in comparison to other European countries, especially when calling a foreign mobile phone.

If you regularly call abroad, you can easily cut your telephone bill in half by using one ore more of the following services:

  1. Pre-paid international telephone cards
  2. Pre-dial numbers
  3. Alternate providers

All services have their own advantages and disadvantages. A short explanation will hopefully help you choose the option or combination of options that will save you the most with the least of hassle.

Pre-paid telephone cards

You can buy these cards in local shops, and on the internet. The cards have dial-in numbers and pin codes. You need to dial the dial-in number and then the pin code, after which you can dial your destination number.

The major advantage of these cards is that they offer the lowest possible rates. Another advantage is that you have complete control over your spending, as you pay in advance.

The disadvantages are that you must always dial the dial-in number and the pin code before you can dial your destination number. Many people experience this as being annoying and a waste of time, especially when you make a mistake, and have to start over again. Another disadvantage is the phenomenon of disappearing credit, connection fees, hangs up fees, and time limits for spending the credit. All in all, using these calling cards will save you a great deal on your calling costs, especially if you make many calls to foreign mobile phones.

Pre-dial numbers

These special numbers (starting with 902) offer you the possibility to make international calls at national rates. The costs for calling a 902 number are 4 cents a minute off-peak and 6.7 cents a minute during peak hours when dialed from a fixed line. After calling the 902 number you need to dial a 1 and then your destination number (including country code, for example 0044 for the UK). The international connection is completely free, so you only pay the above mentioned rate.

The main advantage is that you do not need to contract this service, you can simply use it from any phone (from mobiles the rate is 22 and 36 cents a minute during off-peak and peak hours). The cost for the call will be charged by your current provider on your regular telephone bill. A good example of this service is 902999007. You can try it right now by simply dialing the number.

The big disadvantage of this service is that it does not work for calling TO mobile phones (except for the USA, Argentina and China). Another disadvantage is that it does not work to all destinations.

Alternate providers

There are companies in Spain that offer you to route your calls though them, without changing providers. Most people already know these type of services, like Tele2 for instance. A good example of a company offering this service is Konnekt.

The advantage is that you can dial your destination without dialing any dial-in numbers or pin codes. The rates are also really good.

The only disadvantage is that you will need to sign a contract. You can usually cancel the contract whenever you want, without the need for a minimum period of service.

So do not wait any longer and start saving now, using one of the above mentioned services.

This article has been submitted by Just Landed


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