Today 15th June 2017, the EU law to allow you to use your mobile like you do at home comes into force - no roaming charges - this is great news for the consumer and takes away some of the unknown when using your phone abroad. Sort of.
Full info here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Union_roaming_regulations
If you exceed your data allowance, you are going to be charged - on the face of it a "wholesale" cost of data might seem insignificant - maybe 6c or 6p per MB. Watch a film on Netflix at standard definition and it will cost you EUR42 in data. Watch it in HD and you'll be looking at 4 times that. Games of Thrones is good but is it worth EUR200 per episode!!
Another consideration for people travelling to Portugal from the UK and roaming etc is the quality of the mobile 4G is superior to your home network - here 4G connections are regularly 30-40Mbps and potentially alot higher - an unintended side effect of this is when you watch a video on YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime etc your device will often negotiate the "best" video quality available. At home you might be watching videos at 360fps, here with the superior internet speeds you might be watch in it 720p or Full HD and your "home" data allowance that normally lasts you a month might be eaten up in a handful of days. Where possible always double check the quality of the video stream.
We think these new rules might catch people out so make sure you set data alerts on your phones and 3G 4G mifi devices whilst holidaying in Portugal and throughout the EU. Also make sure you read the small print of your "unlimited" deals, logic says that your home provider cannot foot the bill for your "unlimited" data usage abroad so there is going to be a cap - it might be 100GB, is might be 15GB, who knows but you will want to find out as you'll be charged for something you thought was included in your bill.
from the EU website (https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/policies/roaming)
"If a person has unlimited calls and SMS, he/she will get unlimited calls and SMS when roaming in the EU. However if a person has unlimited mobile data or very cheap mobile data at home, his operator may apply a safeguard (fair use) limit on data use while roaming. If so, the operator will have to inform the customer in advance about such a limit and alert them when they reach this limit.
The EU rules ensure that such a roaming data limit should cover the normal usage patterns of most travellers. If a person reaches the limit, he/she can continue to use data roaming for a very small fee: up to 7.7€/GB + VAT"
"Small Fee" - so 30GB of data would cost you EUR231+VAT so lets call it EUR280. Yikes. Calls and SMS cost the network operators peanuts (as it all converted to "data" anyway), people now rely on their phones/tablets for internet connectivity and instant messaging so this EU ruling seems a little behind the times already.
If you need a Data SIM for your business trip or holiday and dont need the headache of working out whats happens to your data allowance then we have SIMs available here http://algarve-connect.com/index.php/4g-data-and-voice-sim-cards/portugal-4g-3g-mobile-internet-sim-card-meo-inc-300mb-pay-as-you-go-detail