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Is there a consensus as to the best way to handle data and phone upon arrival in Portugal? I have read of some using Google Voice to keep their American phone number. Has anyone had experience with VOIP in Portugal? Is it reliable?
If I enter Portugal, in Lisbon, with my Samsung phone on a T-Mobile account, will I have service? or... do I need to get a new sim card or switch to a different carrier?... maybe a "burner" phone?
I read that recent iphones have a "virtual" sim card in addition to the physical one. This is supposed to allow two phone numbers on one phone at the same time. But when I landed in Porto I had no service. So in the airport I bought a Vodafone sim card.
Ultimately my US Verizon service started working again, so now I switch the sims manually when needed. I switch back to my US number when I have to do something like was mentioned about US banks and verification texts. I can also make free calls to the US with the Verizon sim if I'm connected to wifi.
It's a hacked semi-solution. It would be interesting to know if anyone with an iphone has successfully used the virtual sim capability.
I may be wrong but I don't believe Vodafone offers an eSIM. Google "best eSIM options for Europe" and you can see a list of available companies and ratings.
We have had a Google voice number since 2010 so we switched all our accounts to that number. We had it as a alternative number for years. We had ATT cell phones. We ditched ATT when we arrived in Lisbon and went with Vodafone since our apartment had fiber with Vodafone available. The Vodafone plan included 200/100 Fiber, TV box with HBO Max included plus other perks, 2 cell phone plans with unlimited everything. With a 2-year contract it is roughly 86 euro a month and no installation charges.
We used Vodafone in the US on their cheap 3 euro a day plan that included 100 minutes, 100 MB data and 50 SMS and that was OK.
I had trouble getting the Vodafone app also as it always said "not available in your country" even though I was in the Azores at the time. I even tried a VPN set to a Portuguese server and same thing. I finally ended up downloading the apps APK file from the developers site on my PC then transferring it to my phones download folder and installed it that way (sideloading) bypassing Google Play Store. It works fine (except its Portuguese only) and it even gets updated.