Movistar is the major Spanish mobile phone operator owned by Telefónica S.A. operating in Spain and in many Latin American countries. It is the largest carrier in Spain with 22 million customers (cellphone services only) and 41.58% of market share.2 Its principal competitor in Latin America is América Móvil. It offers GSM 900/1800 MHz (Spain) 850/1900 MHz (America) (2G), UMTS 900/2100 MHz (Spain) 850/900/1900/2100 MHz (America) (3G) HSDPA (3.5G) and LTE 2600 MHz (Spain) 1700/2600 MHz (America) (4G) services.
The Movistar name has been in use in Spain since the launch of GSM services in 1995. The name became effective worldwide on April 5, 2005 after Telefónica Móviles purchased the BellSouth mobile operations branch in South America.
After the purchase of O2 in 2005 by Telefónica S.A., the company announced that the O2 brand would continue to be used in the UK, Germany and Ireland (Rep.), as a separate branch with its own board and management structure. Eurotel in the Czech Republic was rebranded as Telefónica O2 Czech Republic, as opposed to Telefónica Móvistar.
As of 2011, most consumer and business services from Telefónica – mobile telephony, landline service, broadband and television (satellite or IPTV, depending on the location) - in Spain and most of Latin America are marketed under the Movistar brand.