Here is a little informative post for anyone who stumbles onto this blog looking for information about living in Spain, specifically on Naval Station Rota (NavSta Rota).
Pretty much everyone here uses prepaid cell phones. If you have a quad band phone (that is unlocked) you should be able to use it here. We accumulated cell phones quite a bit while stateside so we had a few to choose from, our blackberry works just fine.
The cell phone company of choice is Movistar, they have a small store in the Navy Exchange where you can go purchase a SIM card that includes some minutes. The SIM card is either $20 or 20 Euro, I forget.
If you don’t have a phone that will work here they sell phones in the store as well, you can get a pretty basic phone with SIM for $30-40. They don’t have a huge selection, I don’t think there are too many phones with camera or any smartphones there to choose from.
After that you just have to keep going back to put money onto your phone, the minutes go pretty quick and you can’t let your balance sit at zero for more than a month or your number will expire. We’ve never had a problem with the service, its worked great all over Europe.
Pretty much everyone goes through cell phone withdrawal when they get here. I didn’t have my own phone for the first two years, we had a cell phone for the house which we pretty much only took with us if we were going for a drive in case of an emergency. To go from having unlimited talking and texting to having to pay for every single call or text sucked! I know there are plans available but I believe you need to have a Spanish bank account to get one. I don’t know anyone with a plan so I can’t give details.
What about iphones?