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Movistar 2020 logo.svg
Product typeTelecommunications
Introduced25 July 1995; 26 years ago (1995-07-25)
Related brandsO2

Movistar (Spanish pronunciation: [moβisˈtaɾ]) is a major telecommunications provider owned by Telefónica, operating in Spain and Hispanic American countries.[1] It is the largest provider of landline, broadband, mobile services and pay television (Movistar+) in Spain.[2] Movistar is the second-largest wireless carrier in Mexico, with 25.8 million subscribers as of January 2020.[3]


The Movistar brand 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 purchased the BellSouth mobile operations branch in South America.[4] After the purchase of O2 in 2005 by Telefónica, the company announced that the «O2» brand would continue to be used in the United Kingdom and Germany, as a separate branch with its own board and management structure. Since 2011, Telefónica has sponsored a UCI ProTeam squad in cycling under the name of Movistar Team.[5]

Countries where Telefónica operates under the Movistar brand[edit]

Movistar stand at the Mobile World Congress.
  • Argentina (formerly Telefónica Unifón and Movicom BellSouth)
  • Chile (formerly Telefónica Móvil and BellSouth)
  • Colombia (formerly Telefónica Telecom, Telecom, BellSouth, Cocelco, CeluMovil)
  • Ecuador (formerly CelularPower, BellSouth)
  • El Salvador (formerly Telefónica Móviles or Telefónica MoviStar)
  • Mexico (formerly Cedetel, Bajacel, Movitel, Norcel and Pegaso)
  • Peru (formerly Telefónica Móviles and BellSouth)
  • Spain (formerly Telefónica MoviStar)
  • Uruguay (formerly Telefónica Unifón and Movicom BellSouth)
  • Venezuela (formerly Telcel and Telcel BellSouth)
  • Antarctica

Former operations[edit]

Countries where Telefónica operates under other brands[edit]


VO70 Class yacht Movistar racing in Leg 1 of the 2005 Volvo Ocean Race, in Vigo, Spain

The 1983 song "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina and the Waves was used by Telefónica to announce the unification of all its operation brands (Telefónica MoviStar, Bellsouth, Unifon, Telefónica Moviles, Telefónica Movil, Movicom) in Latin America and Spain under the Movistar brand after the takeover of BellSouth's Latin America division. Movistar has also used the New Radicals' hit "You Get What You Give", "Two Princes" by Spin Doctors and currently "Hey, Soul Sister" by Train, and other versions of the song, in audiovisual advertisement.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Our Spanish-speaking customers know us as Movistar".
  2. ^ "La CNMC publica los datos estadísticos de telecomunicaciones" (in Spanish). 5 October 2020.
  3. ^ "America Movil contests $63m Mexico fine". Developing Telecoms. 28 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Telefónica Buys BellSouth Unit". The New York Times. 2004-03-09. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
  5. ^ "Movistar continues as title sponsor of cycling team". SportsPro. 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
  6. ^ "Claro «compró» a Movistar en dos países latinoamericanos". Oh My Geek (in Spanish). January 24, 2021.

External links[edit]