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Valencia Connect > Communication

Communication in Valencia

You are away from home for work, study or just to have fun in another country, but you want to keep in touch with you close friends and relatives. No problem, thanks to modern communication methods you can call, write or chat with anyone you like. Especially the possibilities of internet communication are becoming more popular. Emails and chats are very popular among travellers and luckily you can find an internet café in almost every city if you don’t have the disposal of your personal connection. Although the internet offers a lot of advantages (cheap, faster than post), sometimes you need to hear the sound of a friendly voice or speak your own language for a change and with a mobile phone you have even more advantages. Be smart and don’t pay too much!
Fixed Telephone lines

A lot of Spanish people choose not to have landlines, instead relying on a mobile phone for communication.  However, since the Spanish telecommunications market has opened up there are several alternatives to the national telecoms provider Telefonica.
It can work out cheaper to pay a flat rate line rental from one of the main operators, such as Telefonica, then get a separate contract with a company that gives you fixed cheap rate calls, like Tele2.  This is particularly useful if you phone abroad a lot as they offer various different packages. It’s worth checking their websites to see if there are any special offers. 
Grupo ONO
Tele2 tel: 800 760 790

In Spain getting a pay as you go mobile (with phone credit that you top up as and when you want) is really worth while, as the calls cost nearly the same as for a landline and you don't have to pay line rental. Although some phones care compatible with a Spanish chip, such as the standard Nokia “bricks”, you may have to buy a new phone. 
There are 3 cell phone companies in Spain offering a wide range of tariffs.
1) Orange, which has just replaced Amena, has very cheap offers on both phones and calling plans that will charge you as low as 3 cents/minute in some cases.
2) Movistar is the biggest mobile company in Spain and is owned by Telefonica. They have the best coverage and have partnered with international providers to allow access to voicemail, etc. Be only aware that it is the one that charges most.
3) Vodafone: they give you an option between an evening and morning tariff, and a straight tariff. On top of that you can get a special tariff that allows you to make very international calls according to your country of origin.

You can expect to pay between 60 euros (including the Sim card) to 500 + euros for really flashy mobile phones with special features of questionable practical use.
A SIM card on its own should cost about between 10-20 euros.

Phone credit can be bought from internet cafes and “locutorio” calling centres.  You tell them your number and how much you want and they’ll do it for you.  If you’re abroad and need to recharge your phone (and can find someone who’ll trust you to pay them back!) anyone can buy you phone credit for your number.

The cheapest way to make international calls is to use a “locutorio”, or phone centre.  Their rates are clearly stated and you can talk until you choose instead of having a set amount of money on a prepaid card.

Prepaid international calling cards are another alternative.  It’s always best to call from a land line or payphone; even those that offer access from a mobile have a sneaky way of caning your mobile credit on top of the card credit.  Since many of these companies come and go, it’s best to find one that you’re happy with and use up the cards as quickly as possible.  Don’t be fooled by a card telling you you’ve got “230minutes”  - they have their own idea of time, to say the least…

NB.  The cheap prepaid international phone cards usually carry a surcharge per minute for using their free phone number or if you are using it from a mobile, so it often works out cheaper to buy cards that give you an option to call through a local phone number.

The cost of using an internet café has by now dropped considerably, so if you don’t have a home phone line, getting internet access is not difficult. Apparently internet cafes are one of the best paces to meet people, aside from bars and pubs!  After all, aside from the young kids who come with their mates to play computer games, their main clientele is people who have time on their hands and who are looking for some kind of information.  Maybe chatting with their friends online, or looking for work or for a flat…

Public libraries offer free internet access, but you have to be enrolled as a member and have to book internet time in advance.  This is limited.

If you have a landline and wish to get an ADSL connection have a look at the main service providers, such as ONO, Orange, Telefonica etc, and see who has the most attractive package or special offer.




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