What Do I Need to Know?
- 5G was available from all four operators by September 2020
- Monthly plan prices are fairly consistent across all four operators, with Movistar and Orange costing more than Vodafone and Yoigo
- Movistar’s price per GB is the highest in Spain, apart from Yoigo’s entry-level plan
- Vodafone offers only unlimited plans, differentiated by download speed rather than by data allowance
Vodafone was the first operator to launch its 5G network in Spain, in June 2019, while its three rivals all launched their networks over a year later, in September 2020. Since launch all four operators have been expanding their coverage, with Yoigo’s parent Masmovil signing a global network agreement with Orange to access Orange’s network infrastructure.
What Are Operators Offering?
Incumbent Movistar offers three plans that use its 5G network, and in contrast to several other European incumbents, its monthly plan prices tend to align with the average for the country. An area where Movistar falls behind is in the price per GB of data, which is higher than most of its competitors, as a result of its low data allowances. In fact, Movistar’s Contrato L plan offers less data than any comparably priced plan in Spain, and on top of that, text messages cost users EUR0.30 per SMS, whereas its upper tiers offer unlimited texting.
|Plan||Contrato L||Contrato XL||Contrato Infinito|
The three plan tiers from Orange cost the same per month as those from Movistar, but its two limited-data plans have a feature that no other Spanish operator offers. In addition to the base monthly data allowance of 10GB and 25GB, respectively, consumers get an additional 100GB of data every 6 months, which they can use however they want. None of its plans offers unlimited texting, with all three tiers charging EUR0.25 per SMS.
|Plan||Go Flex Prima||Go Flex Extra||Go Flex Max TV Supra|
Similar to its offerings in Germany and Italy, Vodafone in Spain offers two tiers of unlimited plans, which are differentiated by the top download speed. The lower tier offers speeds of up to 10Mbps, while the more expensive tier offers the maximum download speed. However, unlike its German and Italian counterparts, and unlike its competitors in Spain, Vodafone doesn’t offer any limited-data tariffs. Also in contrast to other Spanish operators, Vodafone offers unlimited texting, though with the unlimited data allowance users would be able to use messaging services like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger and have less need for traditional SMS.
|Plan||Ilimitada Básica||Ilimitada Max|
Challenger operator Yoigo offers the largest array of plans, though its entry-level plan comes with such a small data allowance that it actually has the worst price per GB of any Spanish operator. On the other hand, its other plans compare favorably with those from Movistar and Orange, in that it offers larger data allowances for the same price points, and its unlimited plan costs less than theirs. Yoigo’s unlimited plan, in fact, costs the same as the top-tier plan from Vodafone, though Vodafone’s roaming includes the US and the UK, while Yoigo only offers roaming to the rest of the EU.
|Plan||La Sinfín||La Sinfín 20GB||La Sinfín 50GB||La Sinfín GB Infinitos|
The only Spanish mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) that offer 5G are regional providers, notably Euskaltel, R and Telecable, which offer mobile services through Vodafone. Each has the same number of plans, with the same monthly price and data allowance.
Spanish operators’ 5G plans are very similar to one another, with each offering a couple of limited-data plans and a higher-priced unlimited plan. The notable exception is Vodafone, which only offers unlimited plans, and these are differentiated by quality of service. Vodafone offers these two unlimited tiers in Italy as well, but there it also has plans with monthly data allowances. Compared with other countries, Spain’s monthly plans cost the same or less, but data allowances, where present, tend to be smaller, meaning that the cost per GB of data is higher. Spain is also notable in that more operators charge per SMS, whereas in other countries they typically offer unlimited texting as well as voice calls.
|Plan||Contrato XL||Go Flex Extra||La Sinfín 50GB|
Unlimited plans tend to cost more from the incumbents, Movistar and Orange, compared with challengers like Vodafone and Yoigo, though the difference isn’t that great. It is, however, hard to recommend Vodafone’s lower-tier unlimited plan, given that its download speed is capped at 10Mbps, comparable to DSL broadband and therefore not living up to the promise of 5G.
|Plan||Contrato Infinito||Go Flex Max TV Supra||Ilimitada Básica||Ilimitada Max||La Sinfín GB Infinitos|