In March 2021, I returned from Taiwan after a year.
Then I did not go on a trip for a year because of travel restrictions.
So in February 2022, I decided I would go on a trip again in March 2022.
Mostly because travel restrictions were being lifted left and right.
So, what is the best way to catch up on a year of lost travel time?
Visit as many countries as you can within a month.
I really love how easy it is to travel throughout Europe!
If you have read any of my SIM card buying guides before, like the Italian one, or watched a YouTube video of mine, you know that I am crazy enough to buy and test so many SIM cards.
If this is your first Phone Travel Wiz review – welcome.
I buy and test all/most SIM cards in a country and tell you which ones are the best so that you do not have to 😎.
You have probably heard of Orange before – perhaps you even use Orange's services at home.
Orange is often the best option in a country or in the top at least
So what about in Spain? Is Orange Spain any good?
And that is what I did – and I will share my experience in this review.
Let's get started, shall we?
Original publication: 1st of July 2022. Last updated: 1st of July 2022.
Table of Contents
Who is Orange Spain?
I am certain many reading this review has heard of Orange before.
Orange as a brand is active in four continents and is often one of the best options in a particular country.
Anyway, Orange Spain, officially Orange España, is the second-largest mobile operator, behind Movistar Spain, but ahead of Vodafone Spain and Yoigo.
You also have many Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), like Lycamobile Spain, but they are honestly not worth your time.
In the title of this review, I called Orange Spain better – but better than who?
You will find out later.
But before you go get yourself an Orange Spain SIM card because it is in some way better than another Spanish SIM card, there are still some things to be aware of.
Let's talk about Orange Spain's coverage first, after these quick frequency details:
- 2G: 900 MHz & 1800 MHz
- 3G: 900 MHz & 2100 MHz
- 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
- 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78) – not for prepaid customers (yet)
- VoLTE: Yes
- VoWiFi: Yes
Here you have Orange Spain's APN settings:
- Name: Orange Internet
- APN: orangeworld
- Username: orange
- Password: orange
Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.
Orange Spain Coverage + My Experience
You can have a mobile operator providing you 1 Gbps download speeds.
But if it covers only one street in the entirety of Spain, it will be useless.
So, how is Orange Spain's coverage?
When looking at 4G/LTE availability, Orange Spain has the second-worst availability percentage of 87.7%. This is ahead of Yoigo (82.4%), but behind Movistar Spain (87.9%) and Vodafone Spain (89.1%), according to Opensignal.
Orange Spain has the best 4G/LTE coverage experience (9.5 on a 10-point scale) together with Movistar Spain. Placing them both ahead of Vodafone Spain (9.2) and Yoigo (6.9).
When looking at 5G NR, Orange Spain is doing well n the 5G NR availability race (9.6%), ahead of Vodafone Spain (4.1%) but behind Movistar Spain (9.9%) and Yoigo (10.6%)
When we take a look at the 5G NR reach, Orange Spain is doing well again, with a reach score of 2.9, ahead of Vodafone Spain (1.9) but behind Movistar Spain (3.1) and Yoigo (3.3).
Unfortunately, prepaid customers cannot use Orange Spain's 5G NR network (yet).
Hopefully that will change soon 😁.
So far, I have been talking about coverage from other reports, but what was my coverage experience with Orange Spain?
It was excellent, honestly – I had nothing to complain about.
I do not recall having many reception blackspots – not even on the metro in Madrid.
When I took the high-speed train from Madrid to Barcelona, reception did cut off every now or then, but that is expected.
And the same applied when I took the bus to Andorra (to try out Andorra Telecom).
The closer to got to the Andorran border, the worse coverage I got and the more I was on 3G instead of 4G/LTE.
But that is normal too – nothing out of the ordinary.
Below, you have the coverage maps of Orange Spain in mainland Spain + the Balearic Islands (consisting of Formentera, Ibiza, Mallorca & Menorca) and in the Canary Islands on the west of Morocco (consisting of Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote & Tenerife):
How to Get an Orange Spain SIM Card & Prices
Now you have a basic understanding of Orange Spain and the telecom market in Spain, it is now time to talk about how to actually get an Orange Spain SIM card.
That is because of the SIM card registration laws in Spain – SIM card registration is mandatory.
- Find out which countries have a SIM card registration regulations and what is required from you (lookup tool)
Spanish SIM cards are also sold by third parties, like grocery stores or convenience stores like in many other countries.
But it can be a challenge to find a store with Orange Spain SIM cards lying around (I did not manage to see any… but that may be because I did not actively look for them).
So you better visit an Orange Spain store – the process will be quicker (here is a store locator).
By the way, Orange Spain SIM cards are also sold at Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) and Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN).
I got my Orange Spain SIM card in Madrid at Puerta del Sol.
Here is where I also got my Vodafone Spain SIM card.
But here is a store locator if you do not plan to visit Madrid.
Four staff members and a security guard were inside when I got inside.
I got approached immediately, asking if I needed help – well, yes, I did – thank you very much.
I went to Orange Spain before going to Vodafone Spain, almost next door, and the difference in customer service was night and day.
The Orange Spain employees actually seem to care about you… unlike the Vodafone Spain employee next door.
Anyway, I am writing about Orange Spain now 🤪.
This particular store seemed to deal with tourists more often because it had set up machines where you could buy one of Orange Spain's tourist SIM cards: Holiday Pass.
While an employee can help you out, the process is straightforward.
You can even change the language from Spanish to English, French, German & Russian.
I will embed a video of the purchasing process very soon, but you cannot do wrong while using this machine.
Anyway, the machine gives you three options. One of the two Holiday Passes and one regular plan.
Below is an overview of the three options the machine gives you:
I will list all the prices in EUR (Euro). To convert EUR to your currency (let's say GBP – (British) Pound (Sterling)) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.
|Price||Plan||Data||EU/EEA Data||Local/International Minutes||Validity|
|15 EUR||Holiday Pass 5||“Unlimited”, 30 GB high-speed||8.5 GB||50 minutes||5 days|
|19.95 EUR||Go Fly||35 GB||11 GB||“Unlimited”, 5000 minutes 2||28 days|
|25 EUR||Holiday Pass 15||“Unlimited”, 60 GB high-speed||14 GB||100 minutes||15 days|
1 30GB/60 GB high-speed data. Then unlimited data @ 1 Mbps after exhausting your data allowance
2 for local use or while in other EU/EEA countries (so NOT from Spain to another EU/EEA member state)
I chose the Holiday Pass 5 because I was staying in Spain for only four days, and 30 GB would be more than enough for the speed tests I wanted to conduct.
Orange Spain Plans, Bundles & Offers
Orange has three data-featured plans:
- Plans (combo)
- Holiday Passes (combo for the tourist SIM card)
- Alta Bono (data add-on)
The Plans, which may not be called plans but have no clear name, are combo bundles with data (without 5G NR access) and minutes.
Text the Activation Code to 1470 to activate Plans:
|Price||Plan||Data||EU/EEA Roaming Data||Local/EU Minutes||Validity||Activation Code|
|8.95 EUR||Navega||7 GB||4.5 GB||N/A||28 days||GO NAVEGA|
|9.95 EUR||Go Walk||10 GB||5.5 GB||“Unlimited”, 5000 minutes||28 days||GO WALK|
|14.95 EUR||Go Run||20 GB||8.5 GB||“Unlimited”, 5000 minutes||28 days||GO RUN|
|19.95 EUR||Go Fly||35 GB||11 GB||“Unlimited”, 5000 minutes||28 days||GO FLY|
The Holiday Passes are combo plans with data and minutes for the Orange Holiday tourist SIM cards.
The following Holiday Passes are available:
|Price||Plan||Data||EU/EEA Roaming Data||Local/International Minutes||Validity|
|15 EUR||Holiday Pass 5||30 GB||8.5 GB||50 minutes||5 days|
|25 EUR||Holiday Pass 15||60 GB||14 GB||100 minutes||15 days|
Alta Bono Add-Ons
The Alta Bono Add-On is a data plan with 500 MB for 4 EUR. It cannot be purchased as a standalone plan.
Text ALTA BONO 500 to 1470 to activate Alta Bono.
|4 EUR||500 MB||Until plan expires||ALTA BONO 500|
You can use your Orange allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:
Be aware that, in some cases, the EU/EEA roaming allowance is lower than the domestic allowances.
Orange Spain Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check
Orange top-up vouchers are sold in Orange stores, grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Spain.
I did not have to recharge my Orange Spain SIM card because Spain was a short stop on my one-month Europe trip.
But I will still let you know about topping up your Orange Spain SIM card.
To top up your Orange SIM card, call 1470, say RECARGA (recharge in Spanish), and enter the VoucherCode.
You can also tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.
You can also recharge online with (international/EU) debit and credit cards.
Dial *111# to check your Orange balance.
The first five checks in a month are free. Afterward, it will cost 0.25 EUR/check.
Orange Spain Speed Test Results (in Barcelona & Madrid)
Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect to get with Orange Spain after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.
Orange Spain is regarded by Speedtest as the second-fastest mobile operator in Spain in Q4 of 2021.
With a Speed Score of 51.34, Orange Spain is outperforming Vodafone Spain (51.34) and Yoigo (39.43), but is behind Movistar Spain (62.67).
When we look at 5G NR, Orange Spain is still the second-best, with a median download speed of 146.31 Mbps.
This is ahead of Yoigo (125.20 Mbps) and Movistar Spain (103.99 Mbps), but far behind Vodafone Spain (277.11 Mbps).
Okay, those were valuable insights – let's talk about my speed test results now.
I did speed tests with the Speedtest app at various test locations: 3 in Barcelona and 8 in Madrid.
Here are the results:
Those are nice download speeds! Especially on 4G/LTE.
Five of the speed test results were higher than 100 Mbps, and two of them were close (92 Mbps and 99 Mbps).
For 4G/LTE, this is great. If these were 5G NR speeds, they would be slow.
But unfortunately, 5G NR is not available to prepaid customers (yet) 🥲.
I am waiting for the day you can hit 1 Gbps with Orange Spain, like I managed with Optus in Australia.
Okay, enough of potential 5G NR speeds 🤪.
I will show you the comparison with Yoigo later.
Although it allows prepaid customers to use 5G NR, I only got one 5G NR test result with it.
And I can already tell you it was significantly slower than Orange Spain.
First, let's deal with some Orange Spain statistics based on 11 speed test results:
- Orange Spain's average download speed was 121.67 Mbps
- The median download speed with Orange Spain was 99.08 Mbps
- Orange Spain's average upload speed was 26.17 Mbps
- The median upload speed with Orange Spain was 26.26 Mbps
- Orange Spain had the fastest download speed, compared to its competitors, in 3 of the 11 locations
- Orange Spain had the slowest download speed, compared to its competitors, in 1 of the 11 locations
- At 1 of the 11 locations, Orange Spain had the fastest upload speed
- At 3 of the 11 locations, Orange Spain had the slowest upload speed
Honestly, those are some pretty impressive statistics… even if the sample size was small.
So, is an average download speed of 121.67 Mbps fast enough?
I am not even sure why I am asking this question – of course it is 🤩!
But still – let me elaborate.
A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.
Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.
And I got an average upload speed of 26.17 Mbps – more than double the recommended upload speed.
So, in short, these speed test results would be more than enough for watching videos at a high resolution and for uploading content like live streams.
But let's take these results to a global level – Orange Spain is still doing well.
At the time of writing, the global average download speed is 74.87 Mbps – Orange Spain is way above this average.
But the average is skewed because of countries like the United Arab Emirates, with an average mobile download speed of 268.87 Mbps (insane!).
So let's look at the global median – 30.75 Mbps. Orangee Spain's median download speed was 99.08 Mbps.
That is more than triple the global median.
Then again, many countries have yet to roll out 5G NR… but that is why we looked at the median too instead of only the average.
In short, you should have a smooth network experience with Orange Spain.
Take a look at this Orange Spain and Yoigo comparison (both on 4G/LTE most of the time):
Vodafone Spain was (much) faster than Yoigo at most locations.
And often in the multiples too.
So yeah, you do not have to worry about speeds with Orange Spain – especially on 4G/LTE.
My Overall Experience with Orange Spain – Is It Any Good?
I would recommend Orange Spain, which may be my top recommendation for anyone wanting to buy a Spanish SIM card.
Getting an Orange Spain SIM card was straightforward, and activation was quick.
Orange Spain's coverage is one of the best ones out there.
You should still have coverage in the most remote Spanish town you can think of (but perhaps on 2G, lmao).
The plans Orange Spain offers are generous, but that is a given in Spain.
While its speeds are crazy fast in absolute terms like Vodafone Spain on 5G NR, Orange Spain is, based on my experiences, the fastest 4G/LTE mobile operator.
And the same can be said about Orange Spain's coverage.
With extensive coverage, generous data-featured plans & blazing-fast speeds, there is nothing crazy to complain about Vodafone Spain.
Spanish SIM Card Reviews
As mentioned earlier, I also tried out Movistar Spain, Vodafone Spain & Yoigo when I was in Barcelona and Rome.
You should read those reviews too.
Later, I will make a comparison post of the four Spanish mobile operators… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).
But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the Spanish SIM card reviews.
Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other European SIM cards from this trip.
Spain SIM Card Buying Guide
There are more than ten SIM cards to choose from in Spain besides Vodafone Spain.
I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Spain SIM card buying guide.
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