Mobile Telephone Providers in Portugal

Find out how to use mobile telephone services in Portugal...

There are three major mobile telephone operators in Portugal:


How to sign up for a mobile telephone

Mobile telephones are offered on contract and as pay-as-you-go. It is possible to sign up at a mobile providers' shop (see the websites above for locations) or online.

For pay-as-you-go services only personal details (name and address) are required; for a contract the following is necessary:

  • Passport or Identity Card (Passaporte/Bilhete de Identidade)
  • Proof of address (either a utility bill or a Residency Card) (Cartaõ de Residência)
  • Tax number (Número de Contribuinte)
  • Telephone details
  • Fill out a form and/or a member of staff will enter the details into a computer data base

How to add credit to a mobile telephone

A phonecard with a reference number is issued when a phone is purchased.

Pay-as-you-go telephones can be topped up directly from a bank account at the ATM Multibanco system.

  • Select Telemóveis and then one of the three companies MEO, NOS, or Vodafone
  • Select Carregamento Cartões
  • Key in the Mulibanco Reference Number (Referencia Multibanco) on the phonecard card (the one without the 91/93/96 prefix)
  • Key in the quantity to be credited in Euros (Montante)
  • Press Confirmar (Confirm)

Credit can also be added on a mobile telephone via the telephone with Multibanco Telecarga by dialling 1255 on the mobile and following the instructions and keying in the same information as when using a Multibanco ATM machine.

It is also possible to put credit on a mobile phone at one of the many mobile phone shops which accept cash and payment via Multibanco direct debit cards.

Lost or stolen mobile phones

All mobile phones have a unique code, the IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) code. This belongs to the handset and is associated with a card, the SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) card, which holds the telephone number assigned to a customer.

  • A SIM card. Holds the telephone number and memory. Access can be protected by personalising the card with a 4-digit PIN number
  • An IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity). This is a mobile telephone's unique identification number

The IMEI number provides protection if a phone is lost or stolen. The IMEI code is clearly shown on the paperwork at time of purchase. Note it down and keep it separate from the mobile. Or to find the IMEI number, enter: * # 0 6 # on the keypad.

The loss or theft of a mobile cell phone must be reported to the service provider. They will need the IMEI number or details of the SIM card. The service will be suspended and the telephone blocked making it impossible for anyone else to use it, and the phone may be traced. The owner is responsible for payment of any calls made until the SIM is blocked unless they have taken out insurance with the supplier.