Internet, wifi, and phone access in Portugal

phones and internet
Updated 2023-11-01 10:57

Whether or not you are a tech-savvy person, this is still quite an important part of everyday life – and it is no different in Portugal! Access to high-speed internet and mobile communication is essential for expats and a great way to keep in touch with friends and family back home.

Generally speaking, Wi-Fi is easily accessible throughout the country, and there are several high-speed internet providers, making it extremely easy for expats to set up local phone numbers and connect to the internet. Here's an overview of Portuguese telecommunications for expats.

Using mobile phones in Portugal

While in Portugal, there are three main network operators to choose from: MEO, Vodafone and NOS (although new providers are slowly making their way up the market ladder, such as Nowo).

However, and in addition to these, there are a number of MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) that use one of these three networks.

For that reason, there's an ever-increasing number of choices and options, so it may pay off to browse and shop around.

Mobile operators in Portugal include:

Expats have a few mobile phone options, including either purchasing a local SIM card for an existing phone on a prepaid plan, or signing a long-term contract.

Prepaid SIM cards can be purchased from many retailers and convenience stores. These cards can be inserted into your own phone or a local phone, and you can top up with credit as you go. This can be an inexpensive and simple way of setting up a local phone number.

Expats in Portugal are eligible to sign up for postpaid plans or mobile phones on a contract as long as certain requirements are met. You will need to present certain documentation, such as your tax number, a copy of your passport or identity card, proof of local address and your bank account number.

Landlines in Portugal

While most Portuguese homes also used to have a landline, many people are choosing to skip it and stick to mobile phones, tv and internet services.

To set up a phone line in your new property, first, you need to select a service provider. The provider will ask for a few details, such as proof of address, valid ID and bank account details. The setup process is straightforward, and your new phone should be connected and working within a week.

Internet and Wi-Fi in Portugal

Internet access will be an important part of your everyday life once you are away from your friends and relatives in a new country. Portugal has a modern and solid telecommunications infrastructure that is supported by many internet service providers. In general, these offer high-speed internet.

Wi-Fi is prevalent nationwide, with many cities offering free Wi-Fi zones. It can also be found within cafes, hotels, bars or public buildings. You can also access wireless hotspots provided by MEO or purchase Wi-Fi through portable dongles, which allow you to pre-purchase a set amount of internet bandwidth.

It's also worth noting providers usually offer discounts if you take out more than one service with them (TV Wi-Fi internet mobile phone). If you end up subscribing to a package, keep in mind prices in Portugal are lower the longer the time you commit to a contract. For example, if you sign a 24-month contract with a provider, your monthly fee will be much smaller than it would be if you had signed an agreement on a month-by-month basis. Furthermore, by signing a long-term deal, providers also waive installation fees and usually offer other parks, like streaming subscriptions or premium sports channels, for a couple of months.

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.