The good thing about Spain now is that there are a lot more companies available to choose from.
In the past i think i have tried them all. I remember my first mobile phone around about the year 1996 when my first child was born.
It was an Alcatel brick like thing and it weighed a bit as well. It had an antenna that screwed off and it was basic, but thats all we knew then.
Telefonica had 2 mobile phone networks, one called Movistar which is now the actual name of the company and the other where i was connected was called Moviline. I think at that time you paid a monthly fee to use the phone plus you had to pay for the calls but we only had it really for emergencies as we didn’t have a phone at that time installed in our flat where we stayed at Torremolinos.
The next one i remember a bit less but it was quite a lot smaller and came in a pack with a camera and that was the first prepay phone i had, that was 1997.
The calls weren’t very cheap and you certainly didnt see that many people going around texting unless they were people doing business over the phone.
A couple of years later then everyone was sending texts as the prices went down. At that time i was using Amena which later became Orange.
I had wanted a computer for a while at that time and the internet was the in thing with people now sending emails to each other on their computers, you didn’t connect
to the internet yet on a mobile phone.
In 1999 i bought my first computer, a tower called MSOne with a 15 inch monitor with a big bottom like the old TV sets. I was very chuffed indeed as i set the thing up myself without any previous experience with computers. It only had a 4GB hard drive though, that i do remember but at that time i didn’t use it to store things much. Any photos i used to burn on Cds as it hard a CD rom burner with it. Telefonica were the only ones doing internet in Spain at that moment. They had a tarifa plana - a fixed plan- as well which is always
good but it wasn’t that cheap if i can remember. The computer had a Dialup modem as well which was a bit of a pain as i couldn’t really connect until 11pm because the problem was that if someone
wanted to call you and you were connected to internet you couldn’t get through, you’d just hear a screechy noise over the phone.
But the whole thing worked fine. It was pretty slow at sometimes but it was cool and was the in thing. You had to put in the user phone number and password and connect through the modem each time, clicking to connect. The modem made a noise as you dialled through to the operator. You didn’t have Skype yet but if you plugged in a webcam
you had Msn Messenger and Aol as well. This i loved. You went on to see who was connected and chatted to them live, this service is now unavailable when Skype took it over.
There were also chat rooms, the odd American site for getting to know people. One was called MyYearbook where people could connect with their school buddies. This was before Facebook.
I remember being up until 5am, if i wasn’t working playing PC games such as Tomb Raider and Resident Evil, i was addicted!
There was also the odd forum about and i got to hear about some guy in Málaga that didn’t live far from me, only a few streets talking about a new thing that would come in called Wi-Fi.
The only Wi-Fi connections were very few and you had to construct your own Wi-Fi antenna with various bits and bobs but the news was already about about it.
Phones got smaller and smaller after that. Motorola bought out shell shaped phones that you opened up, the V series i think they were called and later on Samsung emerged.
I just seemed to buy prepay phones as i moved onto Vodafone now going through to the 2000s until i finally decided i wanted better phones that what were available as a Prepay user.
There were more internet providers now. You had company’s likes Wanadoo and i had connected to a company called Ya.com which later Orange took over who i have been using now
as my internet provider for years. Better modems came out and ADSL, higher speed internet that connected with via a double phone port, one line for calls and the other for computer data meaning that you could make phone calls at the same time as being connected to the internet. Bliss!
I have never been much to buy the latest model and my eye would go more towards Samsung than Iphone.
I think the first smart phone i got was only about 5 years ago maybe, everyone had them. But obviously you didn’t have as many good deals on calls and internet.
The good thing is with more and more companies coming in then the prices get more and more competitive.
There are some companies like one of the companies i use called Lebara that for 6€ a month you get 1GB internet with your phone. There are other packages that include calls as
well. The great thing about Lebara is that you get double the credit each time you topup. For every 10€ you put on they take off about 2€ taxes but you get another
8€ more or less for free. Plus you get 1000 minutes to call other Lebara users in Spain. The idea would be if you speak to a lot of people in Spain that are friends
and family you get a heck of a lot of calls for each 10€ you spend. Also the price per call to the UK is very good and for sending SMS if you have family back in the
UK that uses old style mobile phones that only call and send SMS´s.
I opted into buying phones from China. Firstly you actually took the risk yourself and went into websites in China. They had text in English as well and 80% of the time there werent
any problems until they started charging customs fees, around 50€ was a bit much especially when the phone only costed 80€.
You can now buy dual phones too if you want to try out different phone companies or have one to use here in Spain and one in the UK. Or one for calls and the other
for internet. I have an Orange contract number because i have internet at home with Wifi where i connect my smartphone to the internet whilst at home.
Orange seem to be the best people for calls to the UK, landline to landline. For 3€ a month extra i get 300 minutes which i never use.
But with so many apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Line and Viber to use for free calls and videocalls you dont need a landline these days only if you have family at home with only a landline and a normal mobile. My Mum doesnt have internet at home in the UK and she doesnt even have a landline, only a mobile phone for calls and texts.
So i find Lebara a great deal for cheap calls and she has a pretty good deal to call me with Vodafone in the UK.
Like i say i decided on the last two phones from China. The last one is called Archos which served me well but it only had a 4 inch screen.
I needed something a bit bigger to navigate and watch videos so i paid 120€ and got a new one late last year called Viewsonic.
I´m happy enough with it. It has 16Gb RAM - internal memory, 2GB ROM, Quad core, 5.5 inch screen and two cameras. Main on 13 megapixel and the other for videocalls - 2 megapixel
Like i say it all depends on what you need phones for and how much you want to spend on them. You might be a fan of Samsung or Iphone and don’t mind paying out
500€ - 700€. I personally am not one of them.
To signup for Lebara click on the Lebara logo on the right hand side or click here. You can choose English if you like by clicking on Ingles in the Idioma panel. If you are in the UK and want to signup then click on the Union Jack. You can also earn free credit once you have joined by telling friends and family about Lebara with your own special link!!