International roaming


  1. 1
    What is the difference between international roaming and international communications?

    Roaming is a paid service offered by your service provider which allows you to use your mobile device abroad to:

    • make and receive voice calls;
    • send and receive text messages (SMS) and multimedia messages (MMS);
    • use the Internet;
    • access voicemail;
    • have access to other features associated with this service.

    Voice communications and roaming messages should not, however, be confused with voice communications and international messages, which are voice communications or messages that, when in Portugal, use the numbers of other countries or are sent from abroad. They may be established using, inter alia, mobile or fixed equipment.

    Find out about the prices charged and rules applicable for international communications at: 

    The costs of communications made or received through roaming outside the European Economic Area (EEA)1 are usually higher than the costs of communications in national territory, because the foreign operator charges a certain amount to the national operator for using their network. This also used to be the case for roaming communications between EEA countries.

    However, as from 2007, as a result of EU rules, the prices charged for roaming communications, especially among EEA countries, started to decline, culminating in the entry into force of new rules as from 15 June 2017. According to these new rules, the tariffs charged for roaming communications (voice, SMS and data) between EEA countries have, in the most part, been brought into line with the tariffs paid by customers for communications in their home country; however, operators may apply a Fair Use Policy to roaming communications, with the aim, in particular, of preventing abusive or anomalous usage of the roaming service.

    A summary of how tariff rules and legislation applicable to roaming between EEA countries has changed is given below:

    Initially, following publication of Regulation (EC) no. 717/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 June 2007https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1025874, each EEA operator was required to implement at least one Eurotariff (a roaming tariff subject to certain price caps) for voice communications and for sending SMS messages in roaming between EEA countries, but could also offer other additional tariffs for these same communications (alternative tariffs). The Eurotariff price caps have been variously revised, with the last revision occurring upon the entry into force of Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1132567, which also established maximum roaming prices for data Eurotariffs.

    Subsequently, Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1373317 amended some of the provisions of Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 (see above), advancing towards the elimination, as from 15 June 2017, of differences between domestic tariffs and roaming between EEA countries. However, it also allowed operators to define a Fair Use Policy for the roaming service, whose rules were detailed in Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1401619.

    Following publication of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015, the previous obligation requiring operators to make Eurotariffs available was replaced. A new obligation was brought in, requiring operators to offer each customer the possibility of making or receiving roaming communications between EEA countries at prices no higher than those payable in the context of national communications; however, during a transitional period from 30 April 2016 to 14 June 2017, providers could still apply certain surcharges to these prices.

    This Regulation also established an obligation to eliminate the application of these surcharges as from 15 June 2017, except in certain specified situations. These include cases where customers exceed the roaming service's Fair Use Policy, where defined by the operator (the detailed rules of the Fair Use Policy are set out by Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016), or if ANACOM grants authorisation, upon request of the operator, for continued application of the surcharge to their customers (such requests may only be granted in exceptional circumstances where the operator demonstrates that it is unable to recover the costs incurred).

    For more information, see answers to the questions “Do my communications in roaming have the same price as my national communications from 15 June 2017?" and "What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)?".

    Notes
    nt_title
     
    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
  2. 2
    What should I do before traveling?

    Before traveling, contact your operator and confirm:

    • whether your contract allows the roaming service in the country you are visiting (i.e. if you are allowed to use your mobile phone or access the Internet through your laptop, tablet or smartphone);
    • whether you need to change your mobile phone (depending on the country you are traveling to, you may need dual-band or tri-band);
    • the prices of the roaming service for voice calls, SMS, MMS, Internet access, use of voicemail, etc., and associated usage limits, when applicable;
    • which network to select in the country you are visiting, in order to reduce costs (in particular for communications outside the European Economic Area - EEA1);
    • whether to enable or disable services such as call diverting, voicemail, etc. (in particular for communications outside the EEA) and how to do so;
    • whether the "consumption limit" feature is activated for the Internet access service in roaming and, if so, what limits apply.

    Notes

    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  3. 3
    What do I need to know to use my mobile phone abroad (roaming)?

    If you want to use your mobile phone abroad, before traveling, find out about:

    • how to contact your operator's customer services from abroad and the costs involved;
    • whether you need to select the operator network which offers better conditions abroad and, if so, how;
    • how to access your voicemail while roaming (the access code may be different) and how much accessing your voicemail costs;
    • how calls made and received while roaming are paid for and how to top up your account balance when you are abroad if you have a pre-paid card;
    • the codes you need to dial to make calls and send messages;
    • the type of electrical current used in the country you are visiting and whether you will need an adapter to charge your phone;
    • whether the country you are visiting has GSM network coverage, GPRS, 3rd or 4th generation coverage;
    • whether your operator has roaming agreements with a specific mobile telephone service provider in the country you are visiting;
    • whether roaming in the country you are visiting is provided automatically or whether you need to activate it.

    If you find that you do not have access to roaming, there are alternatives, such as buying a pre-paid fixed or mobile phone card1 in the country you are visiting or using public pay-telephones. If you want to be able to access the Internet, check whether local operators offer users of roaming services specific products to access data services, or you could use public wireless access points (Wi-Fi hotspots) or services provided in hotels or Internet cafes.


    Notes

    1 Before traveling, contact your operator in your home country to see if you need to unlock your mobile phone; in some cases, this can take a few days.

  4. 4
    How do I access international roaming?

    Before traveling, contact your operator to find out if you need to activate roaming and, if so, how; also, confirm the tariff that will apply to roaming communications.

  5. 5
    Do the prices charged for roaming vary, depending on which operator I select in the country I am visiting?

    Yes, in particular in the case of communications outside the European Economic Area1. Before travelling, find out from your operator which mobile operator in the country you are visiting offers the best conditions.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  6. 6
    Are there situations where I will not have access to the mobile telephone service or some of its features in roaming?

    Before travelling, check with your national mobile operator whether roaming is automatically available in the country you plan to visit or if prior activation is required. Also, find out from your operator what network coverage is available in the country you plan to visit - GSM, GPRS, 3rd or 4th generation - and whether your operator has roaming agreements with an operator of mobile telephone services in the country.

  7. 7
    How can I find out about the prices charged for roaming communications?

    For information on roaming prices, contact your operator before travelling. In any case, when arriving in a country within or outside the European Economic Area1, you will receive a free message from your operator, with basic personalised information about roaming charges (prices including VAT) that will apply to your incoming and outgoing roaming communications.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  8. 8
    Do my roaming communications have the same price as my national communications from 15 June 2017?

    In the European Economic Area (EEA)1:

    In the case of roaming communications between EEA countries, since 15 June 2017 operators have been required to implement Roam Like At Home (RLAH)2.

    Therefore, the price of roaming communications may not exceed the tariffs you pay for national communications (in the case of calls, SMS, MMS and outgoing video-calls, the price of roaming communications may not exceed the price paid for the communications made in Portugal to other national networks). If you are subscribed to a national tariff, the monthly charge of which includes a certain volume of free national calls and SMS/MMS messages, the same volume must be discounted and provided free of charge in roaming until the corresponding limit is reached.

    Note that RLAH (roam-like-at-home) only applies to roaming communications between EEA countries, i.e. communications made from another EEA country (e.g. roaming calls made to a mobile number in Italy by a Portuguese customer located in Spain). It does not therefore apply to international calls made from Portugal to EEA countries or to SMS or MMS messages sent from Portugal to other EEA countries.

    For more information on international communications and the prices that apply to you, please see:

    On the other hand, for roaming communications from any EEA country to another EEA country (see above example), the operator should charge, as a maximum, the price charged for calls made from Portugal to other national networks. For example, in the case of a roaming call made to a mobile number in Italy by a Portuguese customer located in Spain, the price will not exceed the value of a call made in Portugal to other national networks - this price may be less than the value of an international call made from Portugal to Italy.

    However, despite this rule, operators are allowed to apply a Fair Use Policy (FUP) to the roaming service. Accordingly, if a customer exceeds the limits or rules of this Fair Use Policy, the price of their roaming communications may be increased by certain maximum surcharges (these surcharges are set by the European Commission).

    In other (non-EEA) countries

    In the case of roaming communications between non-EEA countries, operators will continue to be able to apply prices which differ from those applied to national communications. Ask your operator before you travel.

    For more information, see the answer to the question "What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)?"

    Notes
    nt_title
     
    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
    2 Unless they demonstrate to the regulator that they are unable to recover the costs incurred in the provision of roaming services.
  9. 9
    What are the conditions governing implementation of fair use policy in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)?

    In the case of roaming communications within the EEA1, since 15 June 2017, operators have been required to implement Roam Like at Home (RLAH)2. However, operators are permitted to implement a fair use policy for roaming service between EEA countries; this may take the following three forms:

    (i) setting a specific limit on roaming data consumption in EEA countries, the value of which should be calculated according to the criteria3 defined in Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1401619. This limit can only be set for tariffs that comply with certain conditions, which are set out in the same regulation (tariffs classified as "open data packages" and pre-paid tariffs charged per consumption unit). After this limit is exceeded, when setting the price of data communications in roaming, the operator may, as a rule, charge an established surcharge for this service in addition to the domestic price applicable to data communications.

    Therefore, it must be confirmed whether, as of 15 June 2017, the tariff subscribed to at national level entails specific limits for data communications in roaming.

    For other communications, the operator cannot set specific consumption limits for roaming between EEA countries and therefore, if the user has subscribed to a national tariff whose monthly charge includes a certain volume of free national calls/SMS/MMS, roaming traffic must be also be discounted from these same volumes and be free until the limit is reached.

    For information about the maximum prices, surcharges and rules applicable to roaming consumption limits for different types of communications, with different types of tariffs, see table 1 (below).

    (ii) Establishment of monitoring mechanisms, based on objective indicators, in order to prevent abusive or anomalous use of regulated retail roaming services outside the context of periodic travel within the EEA. Indicators may include measures to determine whether customers exhibit patterns of consumption which are predominantly indicative of roaming and measures to determine whether the customer has a presence which is prevalent in the national territory rather than in other EEA countries. Observation of these measures to monitor presence and consumption must be carried out over a period of at least four months. When the operator concludes that there is objective and reasoned evidence of abusive or anomalous use of roaming services, the operator is required to alert the customer before applying a surcharge.

    For information about the maximum prices and surcharges for calls, SMS and data applicable in cases of non-compliance with the rules governing the obligation not to engage in abusive or anomalous use of the roaming service between EEA countries, see Table 2 (below).

    iii) Request evidence from roaming customers to prove that they have habitual residence in or stable ties with the country where their service is based.

    For information about the maximum prices and surcharges for calls, SMS and data, which are applicable where customers fail to provide evidence that they have habitual residence in or stable ties with the country where their service is based, see table 2 (below).

    All terms and conditions associated with the fair use policy must be in included in the contracts operators conclude with roaming customers, should they choose to implement this policy. Customers should therefore confirm, as from 15 June 2017, that this information is included in their contract. If your operator requires evidence of stable links involving a frequent and significant presence in the country where your service is based/or that you exhibit certain non-abusive/non-permanent usage patterns, these rules must be set out in your roaming contract or in the conditions governing use of roaming services and must have been communicated to you in good time.

    Table 1 - Maximum prices, surcharges and limits applicable to roaming communications between EEA countries (values in euros, excluding VAT)

     

    Tariffs with specific limits for data consumption in roaming3 between EEA countries

     Remaining tariffs

    Are specific limits allowed for different roaming communications?

    Maximum price

    Are specific limits allowed for different roaming communications?

    Maximum price

    Data service (value/Mb)

     

     

    Yes3

     

    Up to the roaming data consumption limit: the roaming price may not exceed the domestic price, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    Once the roaming data consumption limit is exceeded, the roaming price may not exceed the sum of the domestic price + surcharge of 0.0045 euros/Mb4,8. This sum cannot exceed 0.20 euros/Mb5

     

     

     

    No

     

     

    The roaming price may not exceed the domestic price, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    Outgoing calls (value/minute)

    No

    The roaming price may not exceed the domestic price6, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    No

    The roaming price may not exceed the domestic price6, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    Received calls (value/minute)

    No

    Free roaming calls, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    No

    Free roaming calls, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    SMS sent (value/SMS)

    No

    The roaming price may not exceed the domestic price7, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    No

    The roaming price may not exceed the domestic price7, except in situations of non-compliance with fair use policy as indicated in table 2

    SMS received (value/SMS)

    No

    Free SMS in roaming

    No

    Free SMS in roaming

     

    Table 2 - Breach by the customer of the rules governing fair use indicated in ii) or iii) - maximum prices, surcharges and limits applicable to roaming communications between EEA countries (values in euros, excluding VAT)

    Maximum roaming prices (excluding VAT)

    Values for outgoing calls (per minute)

    The roaming price may not exceed the sum of the domestic price6 + surcharge of 0.032 euros4

    This sum may not exceed 0.19 euros5 (limit of the previous Eurotariff for calls)

    Values for incoming calls (per minute)

    The roaming price may not exceed the value of the surcharge (0.0085 euros)

    Values for outgoing SMS (per SMS)

    The roaming price may not exceed the sum of the domestic price7 + surcharge of 0.01 euros4

    This sum may not exceed 0.06 euros5 (limit of the previous SMS Eurotariff)

    Values for incoming SMS (per SMS)

    Free SMS in roaming

    Values for data service (per Mb)

    The roaming price may not exceed the sum of the national price + surcharge of 0.0045 euros/Mb4,8

    This sum cannot exceed 0.20 euros/Mb5 (limit of previous data Eurotariff)

    In addition to the tariffs subject to the limits indicated in the table, operators may apply other tariffs for roaming communications between EEA countries. If these alternative tariffs are available, customers can always choose to subscribe to them.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
    2 Unless they demonstrate to the regulator that they are unable to recover costs incurred in the provision of roaming services.
    3 In tariffs classified as "open data packages" in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016, customers of roaming must be able to consume, when periodically travelling in the EEA, a specific volume of data roaming retail services at the domestic retail price. This volume is equivalent to at least twice the volume obtained by dividing the total domestic retail price of that open data bundle, excluding VAT, corresponding to the entire billing period, by the maximum regulated roaming wholesale tariff (4.50 euros/Gb, from 01 January 2019), as under article 12 of Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1132567 (as amended by Regulation (EU) 2017/920 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1411654). In the case of pre-paid tariffs charged per unit of consumption, the operator may establish that the consumption of roaming data services in the EEA is charged at the consumption retail price only up to a certain volume equivalent to at least the volume obtained by dividing the total amount (excluding VAT) of remaining available credit (already paid by the customer to the provider) by the maximum regulated roaming wholesale tariff (4.50 euros/Gb, as from 01 January 2019), as under Article 12 of Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012.
    4 Maximum surcharge, as defined in Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1132567 (as amended by Regulation (EU) 2017/920 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1411654).
    5 Except when the domestic price is higher. In this case, no surcharge is applicable and the roaming price may not exceed the domestic price.
    6 Based on the price for national calls originated and terminated on different communications networks.
    7 Based on the price of national SMS originating and terminating on different networks.
    8 The conversion rule, according to which 1Gb = 1000 Mb, set out in the Roaming Guidelineshttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1408119 and recital 17 of Regulation (EU) 2017/920 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2017https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1411654.
    9 Corresponding to the weighted average of maximum mobile termination rates across the Union established in December 2018 by Commission Implementing Regulation (EU).

  10. 10
    Will the new rules apply automatically from 15 June 2017?

    Yes, as from 15 June 2017, the price of your communications in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)1 may not exceed the tariffs you pay for national communications (in the case of calls, SMS, MMS and outgoing video-calls, the price of roaming may not exceed the price paid for the communications made in your home country to other national networks). If you are subscribed to a national tariff with a monthly charge which includes a certain amount of free national calls/SMS/MMS, roaming traffic must be discounted from these same volumes and be provided free of charge up to those limits.

    In the case of outgoing calls and SMS/MMS messages sent, the roaming price cannot exceed the price paid for communications to other networks when you are in the country where your mobile service is based; however, there may be some limits/exceptions to these rules.

    These new rules will be applied automatically, so that if you have previously contracted tariffs with a specific roaming tariff (for example, with a certain amount of roaming communications included or with a daily charge for roaming communications between EEA countries), note the changes made to these tariffs - your operator must inform you of these changes in advance, as contractually established.

    Often, advance notice of these changes is communicated by operators through SMS or given on bills.

    Contact your operator for detailed information on these changes.

    For more detailed information on the applicable prices and the limits/exceptions to the above rules, see answers to the questions "Do my communications in roaming have the same price as my national communications from 15 June 2017?" and "What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)?".


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  11. 11
    What can I do to lower the costs of using the international roaming service?

    When visiting a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA)1, mobile communications can be very expensive because of the international roaming service. There are some things you can do to reduce the cost of your communications. Before you travel, contact your mobile operator to find out which operator in the country you plan to visit has the most affordable rates for the type of communications services you plan to use (voice calls, SMS, MMS, Internet access, etc.). And check whether your operator has international roaming agreements with any of the operators in the country.

    For roaming communications within EEA countries, from 15 June 2017, operators have been required to apply Roam Like At Home (RLAH)2.

    Under Roam Like At Home, the tariffs you pay for communications between EEA countries may not exceed the tariffs you pay for your national communications (in the case of calls, SMS, MMS and outgoing video calls, the price may not exceed the price paid for communications to other national networks). If you are subscribed to a national tariff whose monthly charge includes a certain volume of free national calls and SMS/MMS messages, the same volume must be discounted and provided free of charge in roaming until the corresponding limit is reached.

    However, even with this rule, operators are permitted to implement a Fair Use Policy (FUP) for the roaming service. If you exceed the limits or rules of this Fair Use Policy, the price of your communications in roaming may be increased by specified surcharges set by the European Commission.

    See more information in answer to the question "What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)?".

    Wherever you are travelling, check your available balance regularly, to better manage your consumption. You should also pay attention to how you use your voicemail and its costs.

    In the specific case of Internet access, if you choose to use the mobile service while roaming, find out from your operator about measures implemented to prevent or control large bills (e.g. "consumption limits").

    As of 1 July 2010, in the case of data communications in roaming in the EEA, your operator is required to automatically provide you with a free application which you can use to obtain information on accumulated data consumption in roaming, so that the service can be stopped once a pre-set spending limit is reached. Check with your operator before you travel.

    Outside the EEA, this "consumption limit" will not apply if the operator of the country you are visiting does not allow your home operator to monitor customer Internet consumption in real time. In this case, the customer must be notified by SMS when entering that country (immediately and free of charge) that information about accumulated consumption will not be available and that the feature which prevents consumption over a specified financial limit will not work.

    If you travel frequently and want to make voice calls, send SMS or transfer data (MMS, Internet access), you may be better off purchasing a SIM card in the country you are visiting. However, in that case, anyone who contacts you from your home country will have to pay the price of international communications (e.g. voice call, SMS and MMS). If you want to be able to use the SIM card of a foreign operator in your mobile device, check with your operator in Portugal before travelling to find out whether you need to unlock your phone first (this may take a few days).

    To make voice calls, you can use payphones or buy pre-paid calling cards in the country you are visiting.

    In the case of the Internet access service, you can always use Wi-Fi hotspots or fixed Internet access, or find out about any specific deals to access data services offered by local operators to users of roaming services.

    Roam-like-at-home only applies to roaming communications between EEA countries, i.e. communications made from another EEA country (e.g. roaming calls made to a mobile number in Italy by a Portuguese customer traveling in Spain). It does not therefore apply to international calls made from Portugal to EEA countries or to SMS or MMS messages sent from Portugal to other EEA countries. On the other hand, for roaming communications from any EEA country to another EEA country (see above example), the operator should charge, as a maximum, the price charged for calls made from Portugal to other national networks. For example, in the case of a roaming call made to a mobile number in Italy by a Portuguese customer travelling in Spain, the price will not exceed the value of a call made in Portugal to other national networks - this price may be less than the value of an international call made from Portugal to Italy.

    However, despite this rule, operators are allowed to apply a Fair Use Policy (FUP) to the roaming service. Accordingly, if a customer exceeds the limits or rules of this Fair Use Policy, the price of their roaming communications may be increased by certain maximum surcharges (these surcharges are set by the European Commission).


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
    2 Applicable rules as defined in European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016. The only cases where RLAH may, as an exception, not apply, is where the operators demonstrate to the regulator that they are unable to recover the costs incurred in the provision of roaming.

  12. 12
    Is the roaming service in Europe governed by special rules?

    There are specific rules governing the provision of roaming services in the European Economic Area (EEA)1. These rules are established by Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1132567, by Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1373317 and by Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1401619. These rules seek to eliminate differences between national tariffs and roaming tariffs and to make information on applicable roaming tariffs clearer and more transparent, while safeguarding the implementation of other mechanisms to prevent unexpectedly large bills, especially in the context of roaming data services.

    For roaming communications within EEA countries, from 15 June 2017, operators are required to apply Roam Like At Home (RLAH)2.

    Under Roam Like At Home, the tariffs you pay for communications between EEA countries may not exceed the tariffs you pay for your national communications (in the case of calls, SMS, MMS and outgoing video calls, that price should not exceed the price paid for communications to other national networks). If you are subscribed to a national tariff with a monthly charge which includes a certain amount of free national calls/SMS/MMS, roaming traffic must be discounted from these same volumes and be provided free of charge up to those limits.

    However, even with this rule, operators are permitted to implement a Fair Use Policy (FUP) for the roaming service. If you exceed the limits or rules of this Fair Use Policy, the price of your roaming communications may be increased by specified surcharges set by the European Commission.

    For more information, see answers to the questions "Do my communications in roaming have the same price as my national communications from 15 June 2017?" and "What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)".


    Notes

    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
    2 Applicable rules as defined in European Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/2286 of 15 December 2016. The only cases where Roam Like At Home may, as an exception, not apply, is where operators demonstrate to the regulator that they are unable to recover the costs incurred in the provision of roaming services.

  13. 13
    After arriving in another country in the European Economic Area (EEA), how can I get information about the cost of roaming communications (voice calls, SMS, MMS, Internet access, etc.)?

    Upon arrival in another EEA country1 you should receive a free message from your operator with basic personalised pricing information on:

    • the cost of roaming communications in these countries (including VAT);
    • a Freephone number which you can call to get detailed information on the prices of SMS, MMS, voice calls and other data communications;
    • accessing emergency services free of charge, by calling 112;
    • information on the Fair Use Policy (FUP) - if applicable - to which the customer is subject in the European Union and on applicable surcharges where this FUP has been exceeded;
    • information on any surcharges which may apply.

    Notes

    1 European Unsion countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  14. 14
    Upon arrival in a country outside Europe, how can I get information about the cost of roaming communications (voice calls, SMS, MMS, Internet access, etc)?

    Upon arrival in the country you are visiting (inside or outside the European Economic Area1) you should receive a free message from your service provider with basic information on applicable roaming prices.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries and Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  15. 15
    Upon arrival in a foreign country, can I choose which operator will provide roaming services?

    Before travelling, check with your service provider about how you can select the operator that offers the best conditions in the country you plan to visit.

  16. 16
    Do the new maximum intra-European Economic Area (EEA)1 tariffs include calls made or received while on board ships or aircraft?

    These maximum rates are not applicable to satellite communications on board ships or aircraft. Contact your service provider for information on the tariffs applicable in these situations.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  17. 17
    Can I be made to pay a deposit before using roaming?

    In accordance with Decree-Law no. 195/99 of 8 Junehttps://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=975336 (as subsequently amended), operators are prohibited from demanding a deposit (of any value) to guarantee compliance with the obligations arising from provision of the service.

  18. 18
    Do I have to pay for voice calls I receive abroad?

    You may have to pay for calls which you receive while abroad, particularly in the case of calls received when you are travelling outside the European Economic Area (EEA)1. The price must be confirmed with your operator, before traveling.

    Calls originating in the EEA are received in EEA countries free of charge as from 15 June 2017. However, notwithstanding this rule, operators are permitted to implement a fair use policy for the roaming service. If customers exceed the limits or rules of this Fair Use Policy, a price may be charged for calls received in roaming in EEA countries even when originating in the EEA. This price may not exceed 0.0085 euros per minute.

    For more information on situations of non-compliance with fair use policy, in which this charge may be applied, see the answer to the question "What are the conditions governing implementation of fair use policy in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)?", in particular table 2.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  19. 19
    If someone calls my mobile phone from my home country when I am abroad using roaming, do they pay the same as they would if I were at home?

    Anyone calling you from your home country while you are abroad pays the same as if you were at home.

  20. 20
    Is it cheaper to make an international call (for example, from a public pay-telephone in the country I plan to visit) than calling with roaming?

    Calls made from a public pay-phone abroad may be cheaper than calls made in roaming. Find out the prices for both types of calls.

  21. 21
    Do I have to pay for voice messages that are left in my voicemail while I am roaming?

    In the European Economic Area (EEA)1

    You do not have to pay if someone leaves you a voicemail message, provided that the call originated in an EEA country. However, you may have to pay to listen to voicemail messages when in one of these countries.

    In other (non-EEA) countries

    Even if you have your phone switched off, you may have to pay if someone leaves a message in your voicemail. Check with your operator about applicable roaming tariffs and how to avoid these costs (for example, you can turn your voicemail off before travelling).


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  22. 22
    How much will I have to pay to receive and listen to voice messages if messages are diverted to another voicemail when roaming?

    Check with your operator about your roaming tariffs.

  23. 23
    Are MMS messages free of charge when received abroad in roaming?

    It depends on your tariff.

    Check with your operator to see if you will be charged and how much.

    In the case of MMS messages received in countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)1 and originating from the EEA, as from 15 June 2017, the amount payable will be the same as the amount you pay when receiving MMS messages in your home country. However, if your operator has chosen to implement the Fair Use Policy (FUP) for roaming, and if you exceed certain Fair Use Policy rules, you may have to pay an additional surcharge.

    For more information on situations where the Fair Use Policy is exceeded and where this fee may be charged, see the answer to the question “What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)", especially table 2.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  24. 24
    Is Internet access abroad more expensive than in Portugal?

    In general, accessing the Internet while abroad is more expensive than at home, particularly in countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA)1.

    If you plan to use the service in a country which belongs to the EEA, as from 15 June 2017, the price payable is the same as the price you pay when accessing the Internet in your home country. However, despite this rule, operators are allowed to implement a Fair Use Policy (FUP) for the roaming service. If data consumption limits in roaming or other rules of this Fair Use Policy (as may be implemented by your operator) are exceeded, communications in roaming may be subject to payment of a surcharge in addition to the price you pay when these communications are made in your home country.

    For more information on situations where the Fair Use Policy is exceeded, where this surcharge may be charged, see the answer to the question “What are the conditions for the implementation of Fair Use Policy (FUP) in roaming between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)", especially table 2.

    When traveling, upon arrival in the country you are visiting, you will also receive an SMS with information on the price payable, the applicable Fair Use Policy and applicable surcharges, if the Fair Use Policy is exceeded.

    If you choose to use the mobile service in roaming, find out from your operator about measures implemented to prevent or control large bills (e.g. "consumption limits").

    As of 1 July 2010, in the case of data communications in roaming in the EEA, your operator is required to automatically provide you with a free application which you can use to obtain information on accumulated data consumption in roaming, so that the service can be stopped once a pre-set spending limit is reached. Check with your operator before you travel.

    Outside the EEA, this "consumption limit" will not apply if the operator of the country you are visiting does not allow your home operator to monitor customer Internet consumption in real time. In this case, the customer must be notified by SMS when entering that country (immediately and free of charge) that information about accumulated consumption will not be available and that the feature which prevents consumption over a specified financial limit will not work.

    Contact your service provider for information on the tariffs applicable in these situations. In any case:

    • you should keep track of the volume of Internet traffic you use;
    • contact your operator for information on the volume of traffic (in bytes), usually consumed by the applications you plan to use while roaming (e.g., checking/sending emails, downloading documents, etc.);
    • contact your operator for information on alternatives to control the volume of traffic, given that it can be difficult to keep track of traffic volume measured in bytes.

    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  25. 25
    How can I avoid getting large bills for using the Internet in roaming within and outside the European Economic Area (EEA)?

    Regulation (EU) no. 531/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1132567, as amended by Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1373317, requires mobile operators within and outside the EEA1 to automatically provide users with a free application which customers can use to obtain information on accumulated data consumption in roaming, expressed in traffic volume or in euros.

    This application must also ensure that a user's consumption does not exceed a limit of 50 euros per month (excluding VAT). If this limit is exceeded, the operator will send a warning to your phone or other device (e.g. computer) with instructions if you want to continue to access the Internet while roaming even after exceeding the defined consumption limit, including information on the costs incurred in the case of additional consumption. Once the consumption limit has been reached, and if the user does not follow the operator's instructions, continued Internet access in roaming will be immediately blocked.

    The value of 50 euros/month (excluding VAT) does not apply to sending/receiving MMS messages if these are billed per message, even though this service entails the transfer of data. However, if MMS messages are charged on a per-megabyte basis, they will be counted for the purpose of the 50-euro limit.

    The operator will also send a warning to your phone or computer when you reach 80 percent of your consumption limit. You can ask your operator to stop sending these warnings free of charge.

    As from 1 November 2010, whenever roaming customers want to activate or deactivate the "volume or financial limit", this must be done for them free of charge and within one working day of the operator receiving the request. This operation cannot be made subject to any conditions or restrictions related to any other aspect of the customer's subscription.

    When customers travel outside the EEA, it is possible that the operator of the visited country does not allow the customer's home operator user to monitor customer Internet consumption in real time. In this case, the customer must be notified by SMS when entering that country (immediately and free of charge) that information about accumulated consumption will not be available and that the feature which ensures that the specified financial limit is not exceeded will not work.


    Notes

    1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.

  26. 26
    What is the separate sale of regulated data roaming services at retail level?

    Under the terms of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015https://www.anacom.pt/render.jsp?contentId=1373317, the separate sale of roaming services may entail provision of regulated data services in roaming directly on a visited network, by an alternative provider of roaming services without requiring a change of SIM card or mobile device.

    However, offers of this nature need to appear on the market and operators are not required to make them available.