Portugal (including the Azores and Madeira Islands) has three network providers operating in the country:

  • MEO (by Altice, formerly tmn)
  • Vodafone (formerly telecel)
  • NOS (formerly Optimus)

MEO is market leader with the best coverage in the country, followed by Vodafone in 2nd spot and NOS as smallest network.

2G is on 900 and 1800 MHz, 3G is on 2100 MHz with MEO and NOS and on 900 MHz with Vodafone. 4G/LTE was launched in 2012 on all three networks on the 800, 1800 and 2600 MHz bands. It already reaches the majority of population and is open for prepaid on all network providers.

All three networks are available too in the Portugese branches of The Phone House: store locator and Worten. MVNOs only have a small margin with 2% share in Portugal. Lycamobile is the most sucessful, phone-ix and Vectone mobile both have been closed in 2018.

Top-ups can be made in every Payshop agency: store locator. Worten does top-ups as well Minimum top-up is 5 € every 6 months (3 months with Lycamobile). For top-ups on location, often a top-up fee of around 0.50 € is charged. MEO and NOS can't be topped up by international credit cards or PayPal, Vodafone can.

Portuguese SIM cards don't need to be registered. Be aware that most tariff lines consume 'maintenance fees' when you don't use them for a while which is unusual in the EU. So better run down your balance to zero before leaving the country and staying away for a while or it may have been gone when you return.

EU flag
Portugal is part of the EU, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates. Portuguese operators seem to implement the regulation mostly without restrictions, but may only cap large data packages. For specifics about the new rules check the European Union chapter and every provider below.

MEO (formerly tmn, by Altice)Edit


MEO, called "tmn" not so long ago and now owned by Dutch Altice Group, has the best coverage incl. 4G/LTE in the country: MEO coverage map and it gives it out to prepaid custumers without a surcharge. It is market leader with a 40% share.


The SIM card is available from MEO stores (store locators) or Phone House (see above). Their usual prepaid SIM card is branded MEO Top 96 and is sold at 9.99 € including 5 € credit preloaded and 3 GB of data. You can alternatively order a SIM online for free, but you have to send it to a Portuguese postal address.

The sell different tariff lines called "Top", "Start" and "Flex", but that doesn't matter which base product you are on as the data packages are all the same.

Recharging Edit

Top-ups can be made in many shops e.g. Payshop that has many agencies in Portugal (see Basics), but charges a small fee for its service.

There is NO official way to top up MEO online using a credit card, PayPal or something like that. Only Portuguese banking and their local Multibanco system is accepted. You can also recharge MEO online through or for a surcharge.

Be aware that MEO applies an inactivity fee for their SIMs which is rather rare in Europe. If you don't use a MEO SIM for more than a month (and still have positive balance) 1 € per month is debited from your prepaid account for 'maintenance'.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 1.99 € for 250 MB per day. MEO offers these monthly data packs valid for 15 or 30 days in Portugal and the EU/EEA:

  • 250 MB: 5.99 €
  • 500 MB: 6.99 €
  • 1 GB: 9.99 €
  • 5 GB: 14.99 €

Subscribe by texting the name of package to 12399. These packs recur every month and it's possible to go into negative credit, which will cause the internet to stop until a positive credit is reached again (even if an add-on is still valid).

You can check your data consumption and allowance anytime on your personal account. To query credit, call *#123*, this should return the "universal" credit that can be used for any calls and data plus the "extra" credit that is only valid for calls to MEO and fixed lines; the online credit information does not distinguish between the two, so is practically useless. The online usage information is not always recent (and in the case of add-on data might not even appear), so another way to query it is by calling this number (a message will come back): *#123*99#

After pack data runs out it reverts to default rate of 1.99 € for 250 MB per day. Beware: the pack data runs out silently. SMS sent to inform you might be delayed and the online information of remaining data is not real-time either.

For social media and streaming up to 10 GB per month you can add:

  • Messaging pack (WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, iMessage, Facetime, Hangouts): 4.99 €
  • Social pack (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Linkedin, Pinterest): 4.99 €
  • Video pack (YouTube, Netflix, Periscope, Twitch): 6.99 €
  • Music pack (Spotify, Google Music Play, Soundcloud, TuneIn): 4.99 €
  • Email & Cloud pack (Gmail, YahooMail, SapoMail, Google Drive, OneDrive, Amazon Drive, iCloud): .99 €

The first activation of any of these media or streaming packs is free. Check consumption by *#124#. These special packages will auto-renew, if not stopped. They are valid only in Portugal and not for roaming.

Top (combo plan) Edit

Their combo plan is called TOP and contains a fixed domestic voice call, text and data quota. It's based on a weekly rate. That's why it can be the better alternative for visitors. You have to set your SIM to TOP plan from the beginning. It comes in two varieties for voice and texts:

  • TOP 96: unlimited domestic calls to MEO and landlines included plus 100 mins/SMS to other networks for one week
  • TOP TOTAL: 500 mins/SMS to all networks included for one week

Both options can be added by these data packages valid for a week:

  • 200 MB: 2.80 €
  • 1 GB: 3.30 €
  • 3 GB: 4 €

This way you get cheaper prices for a weekly usage, but without the chance to upsize.

Tourist SIM (Connected Holidays) Edit

MEO has introduced the Connected Holidays plans for tourists visiting Portugal:

  • Connected Holidays Smartphone: 60 mins voice, 500 SMS and 2 GB mobile internet for 14.99 €, valid for 15 days. Calls/SMS are domestic, to the EU, US, Canada, Angola, Brazil and Israel.
  • Connected Holidays Data: SIM card costs 14.99 €, also valid for 15 days, and includes 30 GB mobile data.

Both plans can only be topped up with 30 GB for another 15 days at 15 €. They are available only in a few stores mentioned here (in the middle of the page).

Data-only SIM Edit

For modems and tablets, MEO has released new data-only SIM cards without voice called "Enjoy" at 15 € loaded with 30 GB valid for 15 days. There is a FUP of 5.5 GB for EU roaming.

The "Enjoy" plans are topped up like this: for each 10 € top-up you are given 20 GB valid for 5 more days up to a max. of 36 days. Minimum top-up is 10 €. Billing increments is in 100 KB units. Data will be shut off, if depleted or time has run out.

EU roaming Edit

MEO has implemented EU roaming on most plans without volume restrictions, except where mentioned in the text. This refers to the streaming packs and the data-only plan. Note that from 2019 you have to top up at least 15 € in order to activate roaming on your account. This does not apply to SIM cards bought before that date.

More info Edit


Vodafone Portugal is the major competitor of MEO in the country with a 33% share and according to network test the best coverage and highest speeds on both 3G and 4G. It lets prepaid customers join their 4G network as part as an ongoing promotion for free. Note, that on top of the 2100 MHz they also have 3G on 900 MHz allowing for better indoor coverage which is rare in Europe and not carried by all devices.

Vodafone applies Roam like at home in all other EU countries on all of their prepaid voice and data SIMs, but limits consumption of the Vodafone Passes and excludes all internatl. roaming on their data-only SIMs.

Availability Edit

The SIM cards are available in every Vodafone store: store locator

  • Cartão SIM You: 9.90 € including 3 GB and 500 mins/SMS and apps for 30 days on the You plan (see below)
  • Cartão SIM Easy Total: 9.90 € including 5 € credit on the Easy plan (see below)
  • Cartão SIM World: 12.50 € including 500 MB and the same credit for 30 days on the World plan (see below)
  • Cartão de Dados GO: 15 € - data-only on the GO plan (see below)

To keep your SIM alive, you are supposed to make a top-up every 6 months and in some tariffs "maintenance fees" are applied.

Voice and data SIMsEdit

Their prepaid cards are called "Easy", "World" and "Directo". Be aware that they don't sell you prepaid SIMs with a monthly fee (called mensalidade). All plans have a 'maintenance fee' of 1.50 € every 60 days.

Directo is the base plan without a base fee and Easy has lower call fees. Easy total has lower fees on all networks and Easy 91 only amongst Vodafone customers. This reduction is paid by a 0.27 € or 0.37 € daily fee on the day you place calls.

To change between plans, dial 16911, but they don't make a big difference for data users as the same packages from below can be added.

Vodafone World Edit

World is their plan for discounted foreign calls and includes 500 MB "free" data, but it comes with a catch for data users and a rigid reload scheme. You need to top-up 7.50 € for 15 days or 12.50 € for 30 days of service. To add data volume you can only top-up 7.50 € for another 500 MB "free" data for 15 days, none of the packages below.

Tourist SIM Edit

Vodafone also offers a special package for tourists, called Vodafone Travellers: 5 GB, 500 domestic minutes/SMS, and 30 minutes/SMS to the EU (when in Portugal), USA, Canada, Brazil, Angola, Australia, and New Zealand, valid for 30 days for 20 €. Data and domestic minutes/SMS are valid in EU roaming.

Data feature packs Edit

Default rate for data on all plans is 1.99 € for 100 MB in 5 days in 3G up to 7.2 Mbps. Overuse is charged at 1.03 € per 50 MB. These internet packages called Aditivos can be added to Easy and Directo plans on 4G/LTE too in up to 300 Mbps:

  • 250 MB: 5.49 €
  • 500 MB: 7.49 €
  • 1 GB: 10.49 €
  • 2 GB: 14.99 €
  • 5 GB: 20.49 € (incl. Spotify Premium)

Subscribe by texting INTERNET <size of package> (digits only, don't add "MB" or "GB") to 1277. For example, texting "INTERNET 1" to 1277 will subscribe you to 1 GB package. The pack will renew automatically every week or month. To unsubscribe call 1277.

Vodafone You Edit

In 2018 'Vodafone You' plans were introduced giving customers the possibility to create their own tariff, according to their needs. Customers can choose from 200 MB to 5 GB of data per month, and from 500 to 5,000 minutes/SMS. Bundles are valid for two or four weeks. They can also add sets of applications from different categories - Chat, Music, Social and Video - that come with unlimited data for an additional fee, as offered under the Vodafone Passes. These options are available:

Data Mins / SMS Time Price Vodafone Passes
200 MB included: 500

1000: +1 €

2000: +2.50 €

5000: +3.50 €



6 € optional (for 1-5 GB packs):

Chat Pass: +1 € (included

in 3 and 5 GB packs)

Music Pass: +1.50 €

Social Pass: +1.50 €

Video Pass: +2.50 €

1 GB 7 €
3 GB 8.50 €
5 GB 10 €
200 MB included: 500

1000: +1 €

2000: +2.50 €

5000: +3.50 €



12 € optional (for 1-5 GB packs):

Chat Pass: +3 € (included

in 3 and 5 GB packs)

Music Pass: +3 €

Social Pass: +3 €

Video Pass: +5 €

1 GB 14 €
3 GB 17 €
5 GB 20 €

Passes are available as add-ons for data packages of 1-5 GB. They are not unlimited and include these apps:

  • Chat Pass: up to 10 GB per month for WhatsApp, FB Messenger, Skype, Viber, Facetime, iMessage, Hangouts, Message+, Call+ (no VoIP calls included, Chat Pass already included in 3 GB and 5 GB packages)
  • Music Pass: up to 12.5 GB/month for Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play Music, SoundCloud
  • Social Pass: up to 12.5 GB/month for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr
  • Video Pass: up to 15 GB/month for YouTube, Twitch, Netflix, Periscope, TV Vodafone

All options can be customized on your online profile or by app. For roaming regulations see below.

Go (data-only) Edit

They sell the following data-only SIMs open for 4G/LTE up to 300 Mbps, that include data and SMS in Portugal only, but no voice. Starter packs are free and contain one of these two different tariff lines that can't be switched:

  • Go including 30 GB for 15 days: 14.99 €
  • Go Light including 15 hours of usage during 90 days: 14.99 €

Different top-ups can be made for the two Go tariffs. On the Go Plan you will always receive 30 GB and a time frame to use them, on the Go Light plan you will get unlimited data for the specified hours within 90 days.


Go Go Light


30 GB for validity of 90 days
validity of: usage hours:
10 € 5 days 10 hours
15 € 10 days 15 hours
20 € 15 days 20 hours
+ 5 € + 5 days + 5 hours
...... ...... ......
100 € 90 days 100 hours

To check data balance, send SMS with the word "Go" to 1277. SIM card stays valid for 14 months after the last recharge. From June 2017 the data plans won't be offered for internatl. roaming.

Note that both data-only plans Go and Go Light don't offer international roaming.


Tethering is allowed. Android users can go to Settings > Mobile Networks > Access Point Names and edit the default APN from to keeping all the other settings intact.

EU roaming Edit

Vodafone applies "roam like home" with domestic prices roaming all over the EU/EEA to its call and data plans including You and the tourist plan. Their data-only plans Go however work only in Portugal and all international roaming is blocked.

What the passes are concerned note that when roaming in the EU, these passes (and thus your total data usage) are limited by a FUP, determined by the specific combination you have selected, and usage beyond will incur a 0.54c per MB (5.40 € per GB) charge. Check here to see what the combined FUP is for your particular combination. Note that this FUP applies to all usage combined, and the roaming allowance is offered separately from your domestic allowances.

Additionally, the number of minutes affects the FUP limit as well, so purchasing more minutes than you need will allow you to use more data in EU roaming for less than the surcharge on the same usage. For example, 5 GB with Chat Pass allows 6 GB of EU roaming if purchased with 500 minutes, and 8 GB of EU usage if purchased with 5000 minutes; if you know you need the extra 2 GB of EU roaming, it would be cheaper to pay the extra 3.50 € for the extra minutes and EU roaming than to pay 7.40 € x 2 for the extra 2 GB of EU roaming separately.

More infoEdit

  • APN:
  • Website in Portuguese only:

NOS (fomerly Optimus)Edit

NOS Logo

NOS, previously called Optimus, has the smallest network with a 20% share, but still gives a good performance. All tariffs now include 4G/LTE, but better check coverage before at their coverage map.

Availability Edit

Their SIM cards are sold in their stores (Locator)

  • for 2.50 € with the same credit without a monthly base rate
  • in promotions for free but without credit

Top-ups can't be made by credit card, but only via Portuguese online banking. In Portugal foreigners should go to Payshops (locator) that are found in many places or to a NOS branch. Be aware that both agents charge a 0.50 € fee for each top-up and minimum top-up value is 7.50 €.

They now offer these prepaid plans:

  • Livres (free): with a base rate (LIvres Base) or a daily rate (Livres Dia) and additional data packs
  • À medida: with combo packs
  • Mundo: with discounted foreign calls and a 500 MB data package
  • Kanguru Livre: data-only SIM

You can change between voice and data tariff lines by calling 16995 or go to a NOS store.


This is their base portfolio that comes in two varieties:

  • Livres Base has a base fee for all calls and SMS and charges a maintenance fee of 1.50 € every two months
  • Livres Dia: has lower call and SMS fees, but charges 0.27 € per day when you use it

Both plans come without data and you can add these packages:

  • 250 MB: 3.99 €
  • 500 MB: 6.99 €
  • 1 GB: 9.99 €

To activate call 12300 for free. Packages will auto-renew after 30 days. To check data volume, enter *111#. Outside of packages, you surf on a rate on the daily rate of a high 1.29 € for 30 MB per day.

À medida Edit

This is their main offer with combo packages. They include voice, SMS and data per month and come in a postpaid and prepaid version. Be sure to get the prepaid (com carragemento).

Data Voice and SMS Price
200 MB 500 mins/SMS 12 €
500 MB 800 mins/SMS 17 €
1 GB 800 mins/SMS 18 €
1 GB 3000 mins/SMS 19 €
2 GB 3000 mins/SMS 20 €
3 GB 4000 mins/SMS 22 €
5 GB 7000 mins/SMS 25 €
10 GB 10000 mins/SMS 29 €

You can change between plans online or by app, but only at certain times of the day, not in the night.

Mundo Edit

Mundo is their plan for discounted foreign calls and includes 500 MB "free" data, but it comes with a catch for data users and a rigid reload scheme. You need to top-up 7.50 € for 15 days or 12.50 € for 30 days of service. To add data volume you can only top-up 7.50 € for another 500 MB "free" data for 15 days, none of the packages above.

Kanguru Livre Edit

Their data-only SIM called Kanguru Livre costs 2.50 € and includes 24 hours of unlimited Internet. Afterwards you can choose between two plans:

  • Livre S: 3 GB for 60 days: 15 €
  • Livre XL: "unlimited" for 15 days: 15 €

NOS reserves throttling of speed as a way to limit "unlimited", but doesn't specify this limit yet. You can top-up both lines with these add-ons.

Price Livre S: Volume Livre XL: Validity
5 € 500 MB 2 days
10 € 1 GB 5 days
15 € 3 GB 15 days
20 € 5 GB 20 days
25 € 7 GB 25 days
30 € 9 GB 30 days

The allowances for Livre S are valid for 60 days each. Livre XL is an unspecified "unlimited" data for the given period. Kanguru SIM cards stay valid for 90 days after the last top-up. Note that these data plans are not open to internatl. roaming and the minimum top-up value is 12.50 €.

EU roaming Edit

All talk and surf plans like Livres, À medida and Mundo can be used in EU/EEA roaming without a surcharge. The data-only Kanguru Livre plan is domestic only and can't be used abroad.

More infoEdit

UZO Edit


UZO is a low-cost subsidiary of MEO that started back in 2005. It uses MEO's network in 2G, 3G and with the latest SIM cards in 4G/LTE too.

Availability Edit

UZO SIM cards are sold in Gal, M24, Tangerinas, BP and Cepsa stores, at Payshop agents, Casa da Sorte, Campião, in kiosks and CTT post offices (store locator). They come at 5 € with "15 € credit". The 15 € bonus is in fact 5 € instant credit and twice a 5 € bonus for your first two top-ups of 5 € or more.

Top-ups can be made at all Pay Shop agencies in the country. Credit and SIM cards stays valid for 5 months past each reload. From abroad top-ups can be made through 3rd party agencies for a surcharge. Check balance by *#123#.

As an ongoing promotion at least until the end of 2018, UZO gives 500 MB / SMS / mins (or any mixture of it, calls and text on-net only) for 30 days when you top-up 7.50 € or more.

Data feature packages Edit

For mobile internet they offer three package options:

  • 1.99 €: daily rate valid until midnight and up to 250 MB. This is also the default tariff when you start surfing and doesn't need to be activated.
  • 2.99 €: for 200 MB per month
  • 7.99 €: for 1 GB per month

Activation of monthly packages is by calling 1234 or through your MEO UZO personal online account. Monthly packages auto-renew after 30 days. To stop call 1234.

EU roaming Edit

All domestic allowances can be used in EU/EEA countries without surcharges.

More info Edit


Lycamobile Portugal was the second MVNO in the country that started in 2012 using the network of Vodafone on 2G and 3G only, no 4G/LTE so far.

It's the most successful MVNO and if you don't need 4G/LTE, it can give good rates.

Availability Edit

SIM cards are available online on their website to be sent to a Portugese address for free, but it needs one week or longer until the cards arrive. Offline in some agencies like Payshop or People's Phone SIM cards can be purchased for 5 € with an prepaid amount of 5 € already topped up, but can be sometimes hard to find. Topping up is possible via credit card on their website. Alternatively you can do that by using a cash machine. For that you have to use a Portuguese bank card or try in their agencies, post offices, service stations. Of course you can also buy top-up vouchers via cash or credit card at various locations like service stations, too.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 0.09 EUR per MB. Their data packs are valid for 30 days in Portugal and for EU roaming:

Data Voice (mins) SMS Price Activation
1 GB 6 € *139*2010#
1 GB (*) 200 domestic 50 10 € (+) *139*1001#
3 GB 500 internatl. 100 15 € (+) *139*1015#
3 GB (*) 15 € *139*2025#
3 GB (*) 600 domestic 100 15 € (+) *139*1003#
4 GB (*) 600 domestic 50 20 € (+) *139*1004#
8 GB 30 € *139*2035#

(*) = a 1 GB bonus is given on top only for online purchase

(+) = these plans are discounted to 50% for new customers for 30 days, the international plan to 10 €

Activation is by code. You will receive a confirmation message shortly after buying your plan stating that it has been applied to your account. You should wait for this message before starting to use your plan allowance.

Check balance by dialling *137# free of charge. They will automatically renew your plan once it expires. To cancel the auto renewal, you have two options: Dial *190# before the expiry date and follow the instructions or call customer services on 1632 from your Lycamobile or 26 500 16 32 from another phone (call charges may apply) before the expiry date. Note that any auto-cancellation requests made on or after the expiry date won't be accepted.

For more data, you can add this bolt-on:

  • 1 GB: 5 €, activation: *139*602#

The add-on package is only valid for the rest of the running time of the base plan.

EU roaming Edit

Lycamobile has finally implemented "roam at home" for their data packages. You can use all allowances of packages and the standard rate of 9c/MB for roaming in the EU without surcharges.

More infoEdit

  • Website in English:
  • APN:    username: lmpt     password: plus
  • No tethering supported, doesn't work in an hotspot
  • On some devices you may need to enable roaming even in Portugal for Lycamobile PT as it's recognized as a roaming SIM card

Nowo Edit


Nowo is the prepaid product of a Portuguese telecommunications company and triple play operator with the same name NOWO (pronounced “novo”). It operates as MVNO on the network of MEO in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE with no so competitive prices.

Availability Edit

SIM cards cost 5 € and are preloaded with the same amount in credit. They are available at around 20 NOWO shops (locator) in the country and mostly likely in Worten stores (locator) too. Call 16809 to choose which plan you want and top up if needed.

Top-ups can be made in Payshops in Portugal, but not outside the country by credit card. To check balances, dial #123*10#.

Data feature packs Edit

Data seems to work only after having activated one of three monthly packages:

  • 250 MB, 500 mins/SMS: 5 €
  • 1 GB, 1000 mins/SMS: 9.99 €
  • 3 GB, 3000 mins/SMS: 13.99 €

To activate or change plans call 16800 or go to your personal online account.

EU roaming Edit

All included allowances are valid all over the EU/EEA. Be aware that you can't top up from abroad.

More info Edit

phone-ix (by CTT) Edit

Phone-ix was the first MVNO in Portugal. It started in 2007 on the MEO network, that was resold in 2G and 3G. It was operated by CTT (Correios de Portugal), the Portuguese Postal Services and MEO. The MVNO ended its service on 1st January 2019.

Vectone Mobile Edit

Vectone Mobile by UK Mundio Mobile was the lastest arrival on the scene that started 2013 on the Optimus, now NOS network. It's said to have attracted only a few thousand users. Vectone Mobile Portugal ceased operating in July 2018, prompting the regulator to insist that the MVNO must give its users a three-month window within which to port their number to an alternative provider.

Portugal InternetEdit

Portugal Internet is a company that provides rental of data SIM cards and mobile WiFi routers (MiFis), specifically targeted to visitors to Portugal. 

The data SIMs and WiFi routers can be delivered to any place in Portugal including airports and hotels. Booking has to be made at least 2 workdays in advance. Delivery and shipping are free.

Data SIM Card Rental Edit

Portugal Internet rents data SIM cards that are already pre-configured and ready to use. The SIMs come in tri-SIM format which makes them compatible with regular, micro and nano sizes. The data SIMs have "unlimited" traffic and use 4G/LTE network which allows a download speed of up to 50 Mbps. Retals are from 3 to 365 days. For rates see table below.

WiFi Hotspot Rental Edit

Portugal Internet also rents mobile WiFi routers (also called MiFis) that establish a 3G/4G internet connection and allow to connect up to 10 devices. The router gives speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s on 4G and 6-8 hours operating time on battery and includes unlimited mobile internet in Portugal. The price given in the WiFi Hotspot column includes WiFi Hotspot and Data SIM for rentals of 3 to 360 days.

Duration SIM card WiFi Hotspot
up to day 3 5 € per day 7 € per day
day 4 to day 8 3 € per day 4 € per day
day 9 to day 16 2.50 € per day 2.50 € per day
day 17 to day 30 1.50 € per day 1.50 € per day
from day 31 1 € per day 1 € per day

They use the networks of Vodafone and NOS. Their 4G/LTE network is avaliable in 80% and 3G in 99% of Portuguese territory., no roaming. The networks FUP is not to block internet access, but to reduce the speed of connection once certain levels of traffic are reached. However, they don't disclose at what amount the speed is decreased.

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