Communications in Portugal - Services Guide

We have covered water and waste services in a previous post on our utilities series.

Today we will cover how to set up internet, television and phone services on today’s post about Communications. In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to be without internet and phone connection. Especially, when your work depends immensely on daily use of these utilities. Whether you are a digital nomad, a remote worker or simply want to have a good reliable internet connection, phone services and cable, join us in exploring how to set up these modern day essential services.

The telecommunication market in Portugal is liberalized, similar to many European countries, so you do have many provider options at your disposal.

All major provider companies offer service and product packs which normally include home phone, Internet and cable services. In addition, some offer mobile phone contracts and SIM cards. These are services/products that can be purchased as a package or individually with a possibility to add premium “add-ons” if you like.


There is a lot to consider when choosing which provider best suits your needs and which ones offer the best deals, but good research can save you a lot of money in the long run.

The leading providers who have the most coverage and provide all three services are:

. NOWO

. NOS

. MEO

. Vodafone


CONNECTION TO THE COMMUNICATION NETWORK


The first step in setting up your communication utilities should always be “doing the research”. For this, you can contact Telecom providers directly and compare connectivity and service prices, then choose which one is the most suitable for your needs.

You can also use ANACOM’s website to help you compare tariffs


There is no legislation on minimum quality levels that providers have to provide or maximum time that they can take to install the service, but this information must be provided in the contract you sign. If the provider does not comply with the deadlines stated in the contract, you can submit a complaint. If you contract a service that cannot be provided due to lack of cover, you can cancel the contract and ask for reimbursement of all sums you have already paid.


If you move to a residence that has already had a telephone or internet service, you are not obliged to choose the same provider. To find out what offers exist on the market, you can contact the different providers to see which offer best suits your needs. You can also use the tariff comparison application on the website of the National Communications Authority (ANACOM).


Providers often run promotional campaigns offering advantages for joining their services. If you sign a contract as part of a promotion, you may have to agree to a minimum term (loyalty period) for that service and remain with that provider during this period. If you want to terminate the contract before the end of the established minimum term, you may have to pay the amount set out in the contract.


ABOUT LOYALTY PERIOD

What is the loyalty period (período de fidelização)?

It is the period during which the consumer undertakes not to cancel the contract he entered into with the operator or change the agreed conditions, under penalty of incurring charges. In exchange, the operator offers you more advantageous conditions, such as discounts on monthly fees, cheaper equipment, offer of the value of installing the service or equipment rental, offer of extra channels or free call packages, etc. Information on the loyalty period must always be provided to consumers in writing or in another medium that they can keep when they contract a service. Since May 25, 2019, users have also been able, during the course of the contract, to know the information regarding the end date of the loyalty period and the amount to be paid for the cancellation of the contract through the invoice. To do so, simply ask the operator to send you the invoice free of charge with the minimum level of information defined by ANACOM.

What is the maximum length of the loyalty period?

More information can be found on the consumer portal.


SWITCHING INTERNET PROVIDERS


Before switching providers, you must cancel the previous contract and before canceling a contract, you must contact the present provider to gather the following information:

  • How long in advance you have to submit your cancellation request;

  • The exact date in which the contract will be terminated (until when the service still has to be paid);

  • The information that the cancellation request must include (your identification, customer number and/or the service to be canceled, etc.);

  • The documents to be attached to the cancellation request, if necessary;

  • The means and contact details available for submitting the cancellation request;

  • If you are still within the loyalty period;

If you want to cancel a contract during the loyalty period, you may have to pay a penalty or return some equipment. Once you have all this information and attach all the necessary documents, you can cancel the contract:

  • In writing, via any of the contact details indicated in your contract or made available to the public by the provider (address, fax, email address, etc.);

  • In-person, in any provideres shop;

  • By telephone, if your providers hotline has a system that allows confirmation of the customer’s identity;

  • Via the customer area of the providers website, if available;

If the cancellation request has been submitted correctly, the provider is required to inform you of receipt of the request within 5 days, indicating the date of the termination of the contract and informing you of your rights and obligations following the cancellation, including the obligation to pay any charges, for example for failure to comply with the loyalty period. If the request for cancellation has not been correctly submitted, the provider is required to inform you of the missing information within 3 working days.


If you do not submit the missing information within 30 working days of the providers reply, you will have to start the procedure again. After canceling the contract, you can sign a contract with another provider. To find out what offers exist on the market, you can contact the different providers to see which offer best suits your needs. You can also use the tariff comparison application on the website of ANACOM, linked above.


More information can be found on the consumer portal.


SET UP : PHONE CONNECTION


If you’re moving into a property that doesn’t have an existing phone line or connection, then you’ll typically need to set one up through MEO. This is regardless of whether you actually end up choosing MEO as your provider, due to their operation of the network. However, remember that if you don’t sign up with MEO, you may still need to pay the line rental.


The sign-up process can take several weeks, depending on your situation and location, so it’s a good idea to get the ball rolling as soon as you can. If your new home already has a functioning phone line, you should be able to transfer the existing account into your name or sign up for a new contract with your chosen provider. As with any contract, be sure to read the small print carefully before signing up to avoid any frustrations later on.


When signing up with a landline provider in Portugal, you’ll likely need to provide the following information:

  • Identification (most likely a Passport)

  • Proof of address

  • NIF (número de identificação fiscal /fiscal number)

  • Bank account details

  • Contact details

It may take a few days to activate your account and you’ll likely be informed when it happens. If you are moving within Portugal, then your provider might let you move your existing contract to your new address. Depending on the move, you may even be able to keep your phone number. However, again, be aware that this may take longer than you expect; so start the process ahead of time to avoid any unforeseen surprises.



SET UP : INTERNET CONNECTION

Portugal has a good internet network, with fiber readily available across most of the country. If your home is not connected to the fiber network – or your provider of choice does not offer fiber – there are alternatives. These include ADSL connections and satellite internet, which can be particularly helpful in more rural areas.


Be aware that your choice of both provider and connectivity will largely depend on your location. Some providers let you search for local availability on their websites.

Keep in mind that in more rural areas, you may need to visit your nearest provider outlet to check the availability of the network. Once you have chosen a provider, settled on a tariff, and added any extras (such as a TV subscription), it’s time to get connected!


While this is relatively straightforward, the process will largely depend on your particular circumstances. For example, if you’ve signed up with your home’s previous provider or a mobile internet tariff, you may only need to plug in your router to get online. But, if you’re setting up a brand new installation or waiting for a new phone line, this could take a few weeks. Therefore, it’s important to contact your new provider ahead of time and check your options. After all, you don’t want to be left offline after moving in.