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Call/SMS only eSIM

Call/SMS only eSIM

Old Feb 26th 2024, 7:57 am
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Default Call/SMS only eSIM

Hi,

I'm in PT 2-3 times per year and while there it would be useful to have a local PT mobile number. I'd prefer to not have to carry/maintain a second phone, so I'd prefer an eSIM option, and as I would rarely use it, PAYG would probably be best. I don't need local data.
I've tried searching, but I've had trouble finding anything. Any recommendations?

Many thanks.
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Old Feb 28th 2024, 11:50 am
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Assuming you're UK based, another option would be to transfer to an O2 contract, AFAIK the only one now who allows EU roaming. I think the contract says 60 days roaming but mine still working after that.
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Old Feb 28th 2024, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Thanks Graham, but what I'm after is getting a local Portuguese mobile phone number -- that is a +351 9xx xxx xxx number -- solely for calls/SMS, for use with local merchants (deliveries, etc).

My UK mobile works fine for data and calling when I'm in Portugal, but some of the local businesses will only call/SMS PT numbers.

My phone can support additional services via eSIM, and so far I've only been able to find travel-orientated eSIM providers, and most of them are data-only.
I didn't have much success looking on the MEO, NOS and Vodafone PT websites. I'll pop into the respective shops next time I'm in PT to talk to staff there and see if there are any options.

I tried Skype Out for a US number when I needed one at the time, but it was very unreliable. Incoming SMS messages were not always getting through. So, I've ruled that out for PT.

Last edited by flatlndr; Feb 28th 2024 at 12:18 pm.
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Old Feb 28th 2024, 3:51 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Almost all phones released in last 5y have dual sim, so no need for esim.
There are payg sims, but charge small monthly fee and/or require one call every x days. Otherwise they die.
Check voda and lyca.
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Old Feb 28th 2024, 4:57 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

My phone is "dual SIM", but not two SIM card slots. It's one SIM card slot, one eSIM (which can store up to 10 accounts).
My UK line is via the SIM card, so I need a PT carrier who will support an eSIM.
I checked MEO, NOS and Voda without much luck. I'll check Lyca.
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Old Feb 28th 2024, 5:01 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by EU.flag
There are payg sims, but charge small monthly fee and/or require one call every x days. Otherwise they die.
Yes, this might be a problem for me, as I'm not resident in PT. I might not be able to maintain a PT number. I might have to get a new one each visit.
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Old Feb 28th 2024, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by EU.flag
Almost all phones released in last 5y have dual sim, so no need for esim.
There are payg sims, but charge small monthly fee and/or require one call every x days. Otherwise they die.
Check voda and lyca.
Yes, here virtually every phone has 2 SIM slots plus in many cases a seperate memory card slot. My infinix 40pro has this so I have a Smart SIM and a Globe SIM. Our maid has a 3000peso (£45) phone and it has 2 SIM slots, but one is dual purpose - either SIM or Memory expansion card.. If the OP needs a portuguese number, and I can see his reasoning, then as he says he may have to get a new number every time he goes to PT. Here, tourists can buy local SIM but they are only good for 3 months and NOT renewable. All regular SIMs have to be registered with a certifiable local address and identity, to try and cut down on scam calls.
A silly idea maybe but could the OP not transfer his UK number to the eSIM and use a PT Sim in the SIM slot?
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 5:10 am
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by flatlndr
Hi,

I'm in PT 2-3 times per year and while there it would be useful to have a local PT mobile number. I'd prefer to not have to carry/maintain a second phone, so I'd prefer an eSIM option, and as I would rarely use it, PAYG would probably be best. I don't need local data.
I've tried searching, but I've had trouble finding anything. Any recommendations?

Many thanks.
Consider putting your UK number on an esim and then get a PT physical sim on PAYG from one of the local providers. This is what I do now, I have a UK vodafone number on an esim and then for any additional lines that I need I can use either a pysical sim or an additional esim. I have a physical sim for UAE and Spain and other esims for travel.

Last edited by UKMS; Feb 29th 2024 at 5:17 am.
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 5:12 am
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by EU.flag
Almost all phones released in last 5y have dual sim, so no need for esim.
Not sure that is true ...... No iphones have dual physical SIM (other than those sold in some APAC countries)
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by UKMS
Not sure that is true ...... No iphones have dual physical SIM (other than those sold in some APAC countries)
Can you please backup your statement with official facts?

Unlike you, I can backup my statement.
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guid...h9c5776d3c/ios
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 10:46 am
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by EU.flag
Can you please backup your statement with official facts?

Unlike you, I can backup my statement.
https://support.apple.com/en-gb/guid...h9c5776d3c/ios
I can ..... If you read your own article it will answer your question. It doesnt mention dual physical sim, with iphones you either use 1 physical and 1 esim or you use 2 esim (as per the Apple guide you posted above) I quote ......

You can set up Dual SIM with the following:
  • One physical SIM and one eSIM; available on iPhone XR, iPhone XS, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, iPhone 13, iPhone SE (2nd generation), and iPhone 14 and later (purchased outside the U.S.)
  • Two eSIMs; iPhone 13, iPhone SE (3rd generation), and later
If you also read my post I said that iPhones dont have dual PHYSICAL sims (other than those from a small number of APAC markets)

My response was based on you stating that an esim wasnt needed ...... If you want dual sim on an iphone you have to use at least 1 esim.

(For clarity a physical sim is the plastic one you insert into the phone)

I hope that clears it up for you and answers your rather blunt post.







Last edited by UKMS; Feb 29th 2024 at 10:48 am.
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by UKMS
Consider putting your UK number on an esim and then get a PT physical sim on PAYG from one of the local providers. This is what I do now, I have a UK vodafone number on an esim and then for any additional lines that I need I can use either a pysical sim or an additional esim. I have a physical sim for UAE and Spain and other esims for travel.
Back to the OP's original problem ......

If you cant change your UK sim to esim (which potentially gives you more options with a local physical sim) then vodafone PT do have PAYG with esim but the cheapest way I could see with a quick look was 15 Euro every 4 weeks, which is quite expensive just to keep a line for occasional use. They also have 30 day plans for visitors but this would probably mean changing numbers each time you take a new 30 day plan. (this is also available with esim)

Last edited by UKMS; Feb 29th 2024 at 11:06 am.
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 12:14 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by quiltman
A silly idea maybe but could the OP not transfer his UK number to the eSIM and use a PT Sim in the SIM slot?
Not a silly idea at all. Unfortunately, I need to have my UK number active all the time, so that one has to stay in the SIM card slot. I use the eSIM for travel, e.g. to US. When I do that, I get a data eSIM. If I also had the UK number on the eSIM, then I would have to toggle between eSIMs, which wouldn't be practical.
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 12:16 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by UKMS
Consider putting your UK number on an esim and then get a PT physical sim on PAYG from one of the local providers. This is what I do now, I have a UK vodafone number on an esim and then for any additional lines that I need I can use either a pysical sim or an additional esim. I have a physical sim for UAE and Spain and other esims for travel.
Thank you for the suggestion. Unfortunately I need the UK line to be active at all times, and I travel to other countries where I add an eSIM for data when traveling. So, I need the UK line to stay on the physical SIM.
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Old Feb 29th 2024, 12:21 pm
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Default Re: Call/SMS only eSIM

Originally Posted by UKMS
Back to the OP's original problem ......

If you cant change your UK sim to esim (which potentially gives you more options with a local physical sim) then vodafone PT do have PAYG with esim but the cheapest way I could see with a quick look was 15 Euro every 4 weeks, which is quite expensive just to keep a line for occasional use. They also have 30 day plans for visitors but this would probably mean changing numbers each time you take a new 30 day plan. (this is also available with esim)
Thank you. I did find this as well. As you note, it is very expensive to keep a line for occasional use. I've noticed that there are very few MVNOs in Portugal, as opposed to UK MVNOs, so there's not as much competition on the PAYG end. It's looking like I'll probably need to opt for something like the 15 euros for 4 weeks as you noted, as it's only 2-3 visits per year. Or just go without. Usually it's a matter of one or two deliveries while I'm there, and I've managed without for now, by using email contact instead of mobile contact. Less efficient, and doesn't work when the driver can't find the house, but better than nothing.

PT MVNO list: https://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lista_...is_de_Portugal
UK MVNO list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...United_Kingdom

Last edited by flatlndr; Feb 29th 2024 at 1:09 pm.
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