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Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

Malaga - Communications (Telephone, Internet, TV, Post)

Spain's main telephone provider is Telefonica, which is responsible for installation and maintenance of telephone lines, as well as offering call services, internet and television. Although the telephone market was privatised in 1997, in many rural areas Telefonica remains the only provider, however within the city of Malaga and other urban areas there is now a choice offering a variety of cheap deals. Despite these offers, many people still prefer to stay with Telefonica due to their superior customer service and response to problems.

To apply for a telephone line, ADSL internet or its cable TV service, Telefonica can be contacted via its website www.telefonicaonline.es, or by telephoning its customer service line on 1004, which also has an English speaking department. Alternatively, Telefonica has a network of high street stores in which services can be ordered and bills paid. There are three offices in Malaga situated in Plaza Carbon, Armengual de la Mota and Avenida Velazquez.

Connection to a telephone costs around 80 euros, however two to three times a year Telefonica runs a free installation promotion which is worth waiting for if you can survive on a mobile phone until then.

Other telephone providers also offer calls, internet and television such as Orange, ya.com and tele2 and occasionally have offers for cheaper calls to certain countries.

Mobile phones are a common sight in Spain, despite a slow start, and most international names have a presence in the country including Orange and Vodafone, as well as Movistar which belongs to national telephone giant Telefonica. You can choose to pay for mobile calls via a contract, or by pre-pay vouchers. All mobile phone providers can be accessed through their websites or their network of high street stores, of which there are several in Malaga.

High speed internet access is patchy throughout Andalucia, however in the urban areas ADSL internet up to a speed of 6mb is available. Residents in some rural areas may still only by able to access the internet via dial up. Internet packages are available through most providers including Telefonica, Tele2 and ya.com, and include free wifi modem. When bundled with telephone services and TV, some internet deals can seem very reasonable. However, the majority of deals will end after a few months with the price automatically rising, so make sure you are aware what the final monthly charge will be.

Spanish television has a poor reputation with a menu of game shows, reality programmes and celebrity gossip, as well as extremely long commercial breaks. Many US and British TV shows are imported and dubbed into Spanish. There are six terrestrial channels plus the regional TV station Canal Sur. Multi-channel TV is widely available through the digital satelite provider Digital +, and cable television services offered by television providers. Free to air digital terrestrial television is also now available in Spain which offers the terrestrial channels as well as some specialist channels, and can be received by buying a decoder for around 30 euros and connecting it directly to the external aerial.

Digital television is a must in Spain, as the government is planning to switch off the analogue signal within the next two to three years. A major advantage of digital television for expats is the option of switching languages, meaning US and British shows can be seen in English.

Subscription to Digital + can be arranged through Telefonica, if their own Imagenio service is not available, by contacting them direct through their website, www.plus.es or telephoning 902 110010.

There are post offices (Oficinas de Correos) in numerous locations in and around Malaga, identified by its yellow frontage, as are post office vans and post boxes. A full list can be found here. As well as postal services, the post office also acts as an agent for Deutsche Bank offering a range of banking services, and money can be transferred internationally via Western Union that is available in all offices. Opening times vary, with some smaller offices only open in the mornings. The main post office in Malaga is situated at Avenida Andalucia, 1, and remains open until 8.30pm, Mondays to Fridays and is also open Saturday mornings.

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