Portugal is one less talked about European country. Maybe football fanatics know a thing or two about the country’s legendary players including Cristiano Ronaldo, João Moutinho, Bruno Alves and the list is even longer. Foreigners arriving in Portugal will obviously find something exciting about the country. It is in the history, architecture, foods, great transport network, melting pot of culture and more. But even as one samples what Portugal has in store, the need to have a mobile subscription hits home on the first day. In the current day and age, I bet nobody can survive a couple of minutes without checking the phone.
In Portugal, you need to identify a reliable mobile phone service provider that can match your individual needs. The service providers are many and new ones keep emerging but the choice depends on an individual. You typically subscribe for voice calls; local and international, mobile phone data and SMS. In most cases, mobile phone operators in Portugal have packages that come with different amounts of all these three services. So, just take time and select the best according to your budget. For someone with plans to live in Portugal over a long period, post -paid plans will be the best choice but for short visits, pay as you go will do.
Portugal in Brief for expats
Someone may deny this but of all countries in Western Europe, Portugal passes to be among the best if nt the best. It boasts of a warm climate, rich culture and a stable economy. If you are a single person seeking a social adventure, maybe you may just turn to the dating sites in Portugal and find a match. Those looking for good and quality education will also find them in Portugal. Moreover, your stay in Portugal will be made even more amazing by the relatively low costs of living.
Despite the attractiveness of Portugal which may be taunted as being able to fend off worries, being in a new country can be daunting if you can’t connect with your friends and family back home. So while you are in Portugal, you will need a reliable mobile phone subscription. This shouldn’t be a problem since Portugal has an advanced mobile network and a range of providers that you can choose from.
Mobile Phone Services in Portugal
As soon as you arrive in Portugal, you will notice that most people use mobile phones to communicate and access the internet. This enchanting and amazing country has a well-developed mobile network. It relies on a GSM network for mobile connections like most of its European neighbors.
This is good news for you as an expat since it means that you can connect as soon as you get into the country. It also saves you the costs of buying a new phone, moving is already expensive enough. From anywhere in Portugal, you can get access to the 4G and 4G+ connectivity. So, whether you are moving to a large city or an island community such as Madeira and the Azores you can still access mobile services.
5G is becoming increasingly common in Portugal as well though it’s mostly available in the cities. You might also be frustrated by the slow connectivity in Portugal if you are from a country with a faster connection. However, this will vary from one place to another so don’t let it give you cold feet.
Mobile Service Operators in Portugal
For a relatively small country, Portugal has many mobile service operators. The liberalized market is characterized by fierce competition. Each operator is always on the verge of beating the competitor. However, there are three main network providers namely; Meo, NOS and Vodafone. NOWO is also popular among some subscribers.
Like other markets, Portugal’s mobile service also has mobile virtual network operators. They rely on the available networks to provide mobile services to their customers. Some examples of these providers include WTF and Yorn.
This is a good thing because it means you will have a variety of options. So it will be worth your while to shop around and identify the best operator for you. You are in more luck if you also need home internet and TV packages. By choosing one provider, you will have access to many package details that include discounts.
Hints on choosing a Good Mobile Service Provider in Portugal
The first thing to consider when choosing a mobile service provider in Portugal is the popular network with your circle of friends. MEO has the highest number of subscribers so you will notice that most people are using this network. It has approximately 42% of the market share. It owes its size in part to the fact that it’s operated by the former state-controlled Altice Portugal.
It is closely followed by the British-owned Telco giant Vodafone with a 30% market share and NOS with 24%. The second thing to consider is the network coverage. These three providers have the best coverage in Portugal. However, if you are moving to a city this won’t be a major factor. The coverage will matter if your new place is located in a rural area.
You can make your work easier by using comparison websites like Compara+. Such sites can give you useful insights on the available tariffs and operators in your area. You should use one subscriber for all your communication needs to save costs.
How to Subscribe to a Mobile Service in Portugal
There are two main ways to connect to a mobile service; through a prepaid SIM card (pré-pago) or a mobile phone contract (pós-pago). Getting a prepaid SIM card is however, the fastest and simplest of the two. It is also convenient since it does not involve any long-term commitment.
Most providers will include a certain amount of calls, texts, and data in their SIM cards. So, basically, the more you are willing to pay, the more you get. I also recommend this option because of its flexibility. But you should remember that it’s only an effective option if you are not planning to stay for long in Portugal.
A tarifário de telemóvel pós-pago or local cell phone contract is a cheaper option for a long-term stay. You will also notice that it is a cheaper option if you use your phone regularly for calls, texts and data. I would recommend it if you are a frequent traveler and are in the market for a new mobile device.
Mobile phone contracts in Portugal are usually two years long (período de fidelização). Most providers prefer these long contracts because they help to build customer loyalty and number of subscribers. They are a good option because you can subscribe and sign a contract without commitment. I wouldn’t recommend it if you are looking to save costs because they are expensive.