Internet Access in the Canary Islands – Movistar Prepaid SIM Card

Movistar SIM Card in the Canary Islands, Spain

(October to November 2017) In the Canary Islands, I purchased a Prepaid SIM Card from a Movistar store in downtown Arrecife in Lanzarote Island. It cost 15 Euros (about USD18) for a SIM Card. It came with a balance of 15 Euros so the physical SIM Card didn’t cost anything.

I activated the 2GB data plan by deducting 15 Euros from my balance in my account. 5GB data plan was not available for a prepaid SIM Card. After consuming all of the 2GB data, I went to a supermarket to put more money on my account. I was told from Movistar that 2GB data renewal is not an option for a Prepaid SIM Card. The maximum data renewal option was 200 MB data (2 Euros) by sending ‘altabono’ text message (just eight letters without quotes) to the phone number of 1200.

Somehow, I experienced that my money balance ran out more often than my data renewal. My guess is that when the data plan expires, it automatically switches to pay as we use plan (higher cost). Not fully understanding Spanish language and being mostly on a remote island, I just accepted the reality and put more money to my account. I also made sure to renew 200 MB data plan just before the previous 200 MB expired so I don’t feel that I was charged twice.

–Helpful Notes–

  • APN (Access Point Name) Setup: NAME–MOVISTAR (*All Upper Case) APN–movistar.es (*All Lower Case)
  • Calling Customer Service and Sending Balance Inquiry Text Message: Additional Cost (Couldn’t figure it out how much but it was more than I guessed.)
  • It is important to keep the PIN number (provided with the SIM Card) because it requires you to enter it each time when turning the phone on again after it was completely turned off.

PS: We found that it was difficult to find Free WiFi places in the Canary Islands.

Posted in Atlantic Islands, Internet Abroad, Sailings