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Portugal has several suppliers of telephone services and just like in England where the main supplier is BT, in Portugal the equivalent is Portugal Telecom. It is quite often the case that you can use other suppliers for your telephone calls but you have to pay Portugal Telecom for the line rental
It is often worth shopping around to see what other deals are available but here are some of the most popular services that have received excellent feedback from their users.
If you live in a town or city you will find that the usual wait to have a telephone line installed is around two days which is far quicker than it would take BT to install a line in the UK.
I should point out that when you buy or rent a property in Portugal you will find that in most cases the telephone line has already been installed and it is just down to you to choose a provider.
If you do have to get a telephone line installed you will have to supply the following information:
*Passport or Identity card details
*Proof of address in the form of a utility bill or residency card
*Details of your bank account.
The charges for the telephone line rental is usually made to Portugal Telecom and the payments are made on a monthly basis by whichever method you prefer, direct debit, at the post office or at the Multi-Banco system via the ATM machines.
It should be noted that cheap rate calls are between the hours 21:00 and 09:00 and all day Saturday and Sunday.
With regards to which service provider you choose it is advisable to ask which service your friends are using and what they recommend about the quality of the service and customer support etc.
I would advise doing a search online to see what offers are available as just like in the UK, it is a very competitive business and the various providers are fighting for your business.
Bear in mind that you will usually have to sign up for a contract which will last for at least a year so if you are in rented property that is something that you will have to think about.
If you have an internet connection it is worth looking at something like Skype as it is free and the quality is not bad at all with the only real downside being that the person you are phoning must also be on Skype.
You also have the option of using your mobile phone and if you check with your provider you may well be surprised by some of the packages that are available which will enable you to make calls both in Portugal and back to the UK. One word of warning here though, make sure that you thoroughly understand the charges that are involved regarding the long distance calls especially if you have a contract mobile phone rather than a pay as you go.
I have heard some horror stories where people were not on the deal they expected and after make a few long distance calls they have received a horrible surprise in the form of an extremely large bill.