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Vodafone Portugal Review: Great, But Choose Wisely (+Speedtests)

In March 2021, I returned from Taiwan after a year.

Then I did not go on a trip for a year because of travel restrictions.

So in February 2022, I decided I would go on a trip again in March 2022.

Mostly because travel restrictions were being lifted left and right.

So, what is the best way to catch up on a year of lost travel time?

Visit as many countries as you can within a month.

I visited Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Italy, Malta, Greece, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia & Slovenia.

I really love how easy it is to travel throughout Europe!

During this trip, I (re-)tested 41 local SIM cards, like Vodafone Portugal Airalo's Eurolink Europe eSIM, Nomad's Europe eSIM & SimCorner's Europe travel SIM cards.

Tray of SIM Cards by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

If you have read any of my SIM card buying guides before, like the Portuguese one, or watched a YouTube video of mine, you know that I am crazy enough to buy and test so many SIM cards.

If this is your first Phone Travel Wiz review – welcome.

I buy and test all/most SIM cards in a country and tell you which ones are the best so that you do not have to 😎.

You have probably heard of Vodafone before – perhaps you even use Vodafone's services at home.

Or you may have tried Vodafone in another country.

Vodafone is often a hit or miss – it can be the best option in a country or the absolute worse.

So what about in Portugal? Is Vodafone Portugal any good?

The only way to find out is to test Vodafone Portugal and compare it with the other Portuguese SIM cards (MEO Portugal, NOS Portugal & Lycamobile Portugal).

And that is what I did – and I will share my experience in this review.

Let's get started, shall we?

Vodafone Portugal Review by Phone Travel Wiz

Original publication: 18th of August 2022. Last updated: 27th of October 2022.


Table of Contents

Who is Vodafone Portugal?

Vodafone Logo
© Vodafone

I am pretty sure anyone reading this review has heard of Vodafone before.

Or its African counterpart called Vodacom.

But I will not give you a detailed history of Vodafone because that is boring.

Instead, I want to quickly introduce Vodafone Portugal and introduce you to the Portuguese telecom market.

In Portugal, you have three mobile operators:

  • MEO Portugal (by Altice Portugal)
  • NOS Portugal
  • Vodafone Portugal

Of course, I tested the other two mobile operators + Lycamobile Portugal during my trip to Portugal in February. You can read them here: NOS Portugal, MEO Portugal & Lycamobile Portugal.

Buying a SIM Card in Portugal Guide (logos of MEO, NOS & Vodafone)

You also have many Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs), like Lycamobile Portugal, but they are honestly not worth your time.

Let's talk about Vodafone Portugal's coverage first, after these quick frequency details:

  • 2G: 900 MHz
  • 3G: 900 MHz
  • 4G/LTE: 800 MHz (Band 20), 900 MHz (Band 8), 1800 MHz (Band 3), 2100 MHz (Band 1) & 2600 MHz (Band 7)
  • 5G NR: 3500 MHz (n78)
  • VoLTE: Yes
  • VoWiFi: Yes

Here you have Vodafone Portugal's APN settings:

  • Name: Vodafone Internet
  • APN: net2.vodafone.pt
  • Username: vodafone
  • Password: vodafone

Note: leave anything not mentioned above untouched.


Vodafone Portugal Coverage + My Experience

You can have a mobile operator providing you 1 Gbps download speeds.

But it will be useless if it covers only one street in Portugal.

So, how is Vodafone Portugal's coverage?

Regarding 4G/LTE availability, Vodafone Portugal has the best availability, with an availability score of 97.8%. Ahead of NOS Portugal (96.4%) and MEO Portugal (95.6%).

Regarding 5G NR, Vodafone Portugal has the second-best 5G NR availability (10.3%). Ahead of MEO Portugal (8.7%) but far behind NOS Portugal (20.9%).

So far, I have been talking about coverage from other reports, but what was my coverage experience with Vodafone Portugal?

It was excellent, honestly – I had nothing to complain about.

I do not recall having many reception blackspots.

Yeah… I do not have much more to say 😂.

The only issue, which is not a real issue, is that 5G NR was barely available in Porto.

Apparently, 5G NR coverage was better in Lisbon, but I did not visit the city during this trip (although Lisbon is lovely).

Below, you have the coverage maps of Vodafone Portugal in continental Portugal (left) and in the Azores and Madeira (right):


How to Get a Vodafone Portugal SIM Card & Prices

Being added.


Vodafone Portugal Plans, Bundles & Offers

Vodafone Portugal has two data-featured prepaid plans: You Plans (customizable combo) & Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total (data for Vodafone Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card).

All Vodafone Portugal plans can be activated on the My Vodafone (Portugal) app.

Disclaimer: these were the available plans at the time I was in Portugal – the offering may have changed since then (including whether 5G NR is available to prepaid customers or not). To see Vodafone Portugal's current plans, check out my Portugal SIM card buying guide (which gets updated regularly – at least once a year).

Buying a SIM Card in Portugal Guide (logos of MEO, NOS & Vodafone)

I will list all the prices in EUR (Euro).

To convert EUR to your currency (let's say GBP – (British) Pound (Sterling)) with up-to-date exchange rates, use the Wise Currency Converter tool.

Wise Signup Banner

You Plans

The You Plan is, as the name suggests, a customizable bundle that allows you to set how much data (with 5G NR access) and how many minutes you want.

The prices in the table below are for two weeks, but you can also set your plan up for four weeks instead (for double the price).

The following You options are available:

Data/Minutes 1200 MB1 GB3 GB5 GB10 GB
500 minutes6 EUR7 EUR8.50 EUR10 EUR11.50 EUR
1000 minutes7 EUR8 EUR9.50 EUR11 EUR12 EUR
2000 minutes8.50 EUR9.50 EUR10.50 EUR11.50 EUR12.50 EUR
5000 minutes9.50 EUR10.50 EUR11.50 EUR12.50 EUR13.50 EUR

1 for calls/SMS within and to other EU/EEA member states and back to Portugal (NOT from Portugal to other EU/EEA member states)

You can also add the following passes (read: add-ons):

  • Chat Pass: Call+, Facebook Messenger, Facetime, Google Hangouts, iMessage, Message+ Skype, Viber & WhatsApp (1 EUR or 2 EUR – up to 10 GB)
  • Music Pass: Apple Music, Google Play Music (read: YouTube Music), Spotify & SoundCloud (1 EUR or 2 EUR – up to 12.5 GB)
  • Social Pass: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tumblr, Twitter (1 EUR or 2 EUR – up to 12.5 GB)
  • Video Pass: Netflix, Periscope, TV Vodafone, Twitch & YouTube (2 EUR or 4 EUR – up to 15 GB)
Vodafone Portugal You Plans

Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total Plans

The Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total Plans are data plans (with 5G NR access @ max. 50 Mbps) for the Vodafone Go Total SIM card (data-only SIM card).

Note that Tarifários Kanguru are for local use only – you cannot roam for free in the EU/EEA with these bundles.

The following Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total Plans are available:

PriceData 1Validity
5 EURUnlimited2 days
10 EURUnlimited5 days
15 EURUnlimited15 days
20 EURUnlimited20 days
25 EURUnlimited25 days
30 EURUnlimited30 days
35 EURUnlimited35 days
40 EURUnlimited40 days
45 EURUnlimited45 days
50 EURUnlimited50 days
55 EURUnlimited55 days
60 EURUnlimited60 days
65 EURUnlimited65 days
70 EURUnlimited70 days
75 EURUnlimited75 days
80 EURUnlimited80 days
85 EURUnlimited85 days
90 EURUnlimited90 days

1 speed throttled to 10 Mbps after using more than 200 GB

EU Roaming

You can use your Vodafone Portugal allowances in the following EU/EEA member states without paying roaming fees:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • French Guiana
  • Germany
  • Gibraltar
  • Greece
  • Guadeloupe
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Martinique
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Réunion
  • Romania
  • Saint Barthélemy
  • Saint Martin
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

As Vodafone does not have dedicated EU/EEA roaming allowances, you can use your full allowance without restrictions in other EU/EEA member states.

Note that the Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total plans are for local use only.


Vodafone Portugal Top-Up, Recharge & Balance Check

Vodafone Portugal top-ups are available in Vodafone stores and PayShop locations, which are grocery stores, corner shops & electronics shops throughout Portugal.

I did not have to recharge my Vodafone Portugal SIM card because Portugal was a short stop on my one-month Europe trip.

But I will still let you know about topping up your Vodafone Portugal SIM card.

To top up your Vodafone Portugal SIM card, tell the salesperson how much credit you want, your phone number, pay, and they will top up your SIM card with the POS system.

Note that you will be charged 0.50 EUR for this service – even in Vodafone stores.

This fee will be deducted from your top-up (a 10 EUR recharge will leave you with 9.50 EUR).

You can also recharge online with (international/EU) debit and credit cards without being charged 0.50 EUR/top-up.

Dial #*100# to check your Vodafone Portugal balance.

You can also top up and check your balance on the My Vodafone (Portugal) app (Android/iOS).

Vodafone Portugal App
© Vodafone Portugal

Vodafone Portugal Speed Test Results (in Porto)

Alright, now it is time to talk about the speeds you can expect with Vodafone Portugal after covering all the other essential topics like coverage.

But before I share my 12 speed test results from Porto, I do want to set the stage first and make a small comparison with Vodafone Portugal's competition.

Vodafone Portugal is regarded by Speedtest as the slowest mobile operator in Portugal in Q3-Q4 of 2021.

With a median download speed of 36.99 Mbps, Vodafone Portugal is behind MEO Portugal (41.91 Mbps) and NOS Portugal (47.09 Mbps).

When we look at 5G NR, Vodafone Portugal is also the slowest, with a median download speed of 203.37 Mbps.

While this figure fast, Vodafone Portugal is far behind MEO Portugal (330.69 Mbps) and NOS Portugal (362.84 Mbps).

5G NR is available with Vodafone Portugal, but there was barely any coverage in Porto back in March 2022 (unlike Lisbon).

Then again, the mobile operators had only launched 5G NR a few months (or weeks, I do not recall) before I arrived in the country.

As a result, I barely had any 5G NR coverage.

As I mentioned in the how to buy a Vodafone Portugal SIM card section, I purchased the Vodafone Portugal Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card that throttles speeds to 50 Mbps download and 30 Mbps upload.

As a result… my results with Vodafone Portugal were not as fast as they would be if I got the regular Vodafone Portugal SIM card.

But… I also got a Lycamobile Portugal SIM card, which uses the Vodafone Portugal network.

While Lycamobile Portugal was slow as a snail for the first day, it eventually got fast speeds – sometimes faster than MEO Portugal and NOS Portugal.

And that should give you a better idea of what to expect with Vodafone Portugal if you buy the regular SIM card.

Anyway, I did 12 speed tests with the Speedtest app at various locations throughout Porto.

Here are the results:

Vodafone Portugal & Lycamobile Portugal Speed Test Results in Porto

Those speeds are not too bad for 4G/LTE.

And even though Vodafone Portugal throttled my speeds with the Vodafone Portugal Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card, the speeds were relatively consistent.

As you can see, some of the results are in red, green, or underlined.

Underlined results are on 5G NR, so only two results (Campanha Station & ViaCatania Mall).

The results in green represent that that result was the fastest download or upload speed of all the Portuguese mobile operators (MEO Portugal, NOS Portugal, Vodafone Portugal & Lycamobile Portugal).

The results in red are the opposite; they are the slowest of them all.

And the results in bold tell you the mobile operator was the fastest with all the SIM cards and eSIMs I tested in Portugal (so the four SIM cards, the SimCorner Europe travel SIM card, Airalo Europe Eurolink eSIM & Nomad Europe eSIM).

As you can see, Lycamobile Portugal performed exceptionally well in terms of upload speeds.

So imagine how fast Vodafone Portugal would have been if I did not foolishly get the wrong SIM card – shaking my head.

But I digress 🤪.

Let's deal with some NOS Portugal statistics based on the 12 speed test results:

  • Vodafone Portugal's average download speed was 38.69 Mbps
  • The median download speed with Vodafone Portugal was 42.67 Mbps
  • Vodafone Portugal's average upload speed was 19.91 Mbps
  • The median upload speed with Vodafone Portugal was 24.90 Mbps
  • Vodafone Portugal had the fastest download speed, compared to its competitors, in 1 of the 12 locations
  • Vodafone Portugal had the slowest download speed, compared to its competitors, in 2 of the 12 locations
  • At 3 of the 12 locations, Vodafone Portugal had the fastest upload speed
  • At 3 of the 12 locations, Vodafone Portugal had the slowest upload speed

And those results are with actively throttled speeds – not too bad.

If we pretend I got the same top speeds with Vodafone Portugal as with Lycamobile Portugal, it would have had the second-fastest average download speed (62.9 Mbps) and the fastest average upload speed (28.25 Mbps) of the Portuguese SIM cards I tested.

Quite remarkable, I have to say!

Even then, is an average download speed of 38.69 Mbps fast enough?

Yes, it is – let me elaborate.

A download speed of more than 25 Mbps is enough to video stream content @ 4k resolution.

Social media sites that allow for live streaming, like Facebook Live, recommend an upload speed of at least 10 Mbps.

And I got an average upload speed of 19.91 Mbps – basically double the recommended upload speed.

So, in short, these speed test results would be more than enough for watching videos at a high resolution and for uploading content like live streams.

But let's take these results to a global level – Vodafone Portugal is actually slacking.

At the time of writing, the global average download speed is 75.78 Mbps – Vodafone Portugal is (far) below this average.

But the average is skewed because of countries like the United Arab Emirates, with an average mobile download speed of 260.72 Mbps (insane!).

And, most importantly, the Vodafone Portugal Internet Móvel Pré-Pago/Vodafone Go Total data-only SIM card is throttled to 50 Mbps download.

So let's look at the global median – 30.78 Mbps. Vodafone Portugal's median download speed was 42.67 Mbps.

Vodafone Portugal is doing better than the global mean, which is great!

Then again, many countries have yet to roll out 5G NR… but that is why we looked at the median too instead of only the average.

So yes, you should have a smooth network experience with Vodafone Portugal (especially when you get the regular SIM card.


My Overall Experience with Vodafone Portugal – Is It Any Good?

I would recommend Vodafone Portugal, although it may not be my first recommendation for Portuguese SIM cards.

Getting a Vodafone Portugal SIM card was straightforward, and activation was quick.

With the best 4G/LTE availability and second-best 5G NR availability, you should have reception almost anywhere at any time.

Data-featured plans are on the expensive end in Portugal for regional standards, so NOS Portugal's plans are not cheap either.

But they do not break the bank – it is just that nearby countries have much more generous data allowances for the same price or are way cheaper.

Vodafone Portugal's 4G/LTE speeds were decent (42.67 Mbps median download speed)… mostly because I bought the SIM card with throttled speeds (and I KNEW about this limitation beforehand… I just was not thinking after half a day of traveling 🗿).

However, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM I tested during this trip as well, was on the Vodafone Portugal network.

Even though the Eurolink eSIM roams on the Vodafone Portugal network (which is normal – travel SIM cards and eSIMs are usually slower than native customers of the local mobile operators… unless the local mobile operators throttle (prepaid) speeds, like my Vodafone Go Total SIM card 🥲).

With a median download speed of 58.94 Mbps, the Airalo Eurolink eSIM was the second-fastest SIM card or eSIM I tested in Portugal (behind MEO Portugal, which had 5G NR reception all over Portugal, unlike Vodafone Portugal).

Or even Lycamobile Portugal, for that matter – a Vodafone Portugal Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO).

While I had embarrassingly slow speeds on the first day, I hit download speeds of 172 Mbps and 180 Mbps with Lycamobile (on 4G/LTE).

So if you get the regular Vodafone Portugal SIM card and have a 5G NR-enabled phone, you should experience even faster speeds than I did with the Airalo Eurolink eSIM and Lycamobile Portugal.

With basically the best nationwide coverage, reasonable data-featured plans (with customizations available) & fast speeds, there is (almost) nothing to complain about Vodafone Portugal.

And that is why I recommend Vodafone Portugal (although MEO Portugal is my #1).

Vodafone Portugal SIM Card Held by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

Portuguese SIM Card Reviews

As mentioned earlier, I also tried out MEO Portugal, NOS Portugal & Lycamobile Portugal when I was in Porto.

You should read those reviews too.

>>> MEO Portugal Review | NOS Portugal Review | Lycamobile Portugal Review <<<

Later, I will make a comparison post of the four Portuguese SIM cards I tried… but that will take a while (I have many reviews of other countries that I still need to write, so they are prioritized).

But you can still make an educated purchased after reading the Portuguese SIM card reviews.

Check out my reviews page if you want to read all the other reviews I have written, including other European SIM cards from this trip.

MEO Portugal, NOS Portugal, Vodafone Portugal & Lycamobile Portugal SIM Cards Held by Adu from Phone Travel Wiz

Portugal SIM Card Buying Guide

There are more than ten SIM cards to choose from in Portugal besides Vodafone Portugal.

I analyze and discuss them in-depth in my Portugal SIM card buying guide.

Buying a SIM Card in Portugal Guide (logos of MEO, NOS & Vodafone)

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