Phones and internet nowadays are part of everyday life. If you are moving to Portugal, here is what you need to know about the country’s telecommunications network.
Besides electricity and water, telephone and internet will be among your top priorities as soon as you have settled in Portugal. Indeed, you will wish to keep in touch with your friends and relatives abroad and to make your personal researches on the internet. Just like most European countries, Portugal also has a modern communications network, including quality phone lines and high speed internet.
Portugal Telecom is Portugal's main telephone service provider among many others. Most Portuguese homes have a land line. If you are renting accommodation, verify if the latter is already connected. Otherwise, you will need some 90 euros to obtain a land line within four days following your application. But you could have to wait longer if you have settled in the city outskirts.
Documents to be produced to apply for a land line are:
- your passport and identity card
- your tax code
- proof of address
- your bank account number for direct debit purposes.
You can pay your phone bills by direct debit, at post offices or even at ATMs if you have chosen Portugal Telecom. But you are likely to receive double bills if you have selected another service provider. You will have to settle the second bill according to the service provider's conditions.
On the other hand, Portugal Telecom regularly offers low rate calls between 9 pm and 9 am the next day.
Nowadays, having a mobile phone is more practical and almost a must. So if you are moving to Portugal, you will probably wish to use a mobile phone to be able to make and receive phone calls and text messages from anywhere. Portugal's main mobile service providers are MEO, Vodaphone and NOS. Note that there is no restriction for foreigners regarding prepaid and postpaid mobile phones.
Prepaid sim cards
Prepaid sim cards can be purchased at your service provider's branch office. Documents to be produced are a copy of your identity card or passport. You will also have to make a minimum refill of 5 euros. Once your credit is over, you can recharge your prepaid account at Multibanco ATMs or dial 1255 on your mobile phone to seek a refill. You can as well purchase scratch cards in shops and supermarkets, etc.
Postpaid mobile phones
Foreigners in Portugal are eligible to postpaid mobile phones just like Portuguese citizens. Documents to be produced to obtain a postpaid mobile line are your tax code, a copy of your passport or identity card, proof of address and your bank account number if you wish to settle your phone bill by direct debit. Otherwise, you can just pay your bills at the post office or at ATMs.
If you do not wish to subscribe to a land line or buy a mobile phone, you may consider purchasing phone cards which can be used anywhere in the country. These are available at post offices, Portugal Telecom branches and newspaper stands as from 3, 5 and 10 euros. International phone cards are also available, allowing you to make low rate international calls.
Internet will be an important part of your everyday life once you are far away from your friends and relatives in a foreign country. Portugal has a modern and solid telecommunications infrastructure which is supported by many internet service providers. In general, these offer high speed internet such as ADSL, as well as wireless connection.
Procedures related to obtaining an internet connection are the same as in the case of land lines and mobile phones.
Portugal has recently implemented a Wi-Fi democratization program, the Espaço Internet. Thus, most cities offer free Wi-Fi service. Users can connect directly from home. To date, Portugal has more than one thousand connection posts.