New rules for roaming between countries of the European Economic Area

As from 15 June 2017, prices charged for roaming communications between countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)1 cannot exceed the tariffs paid for national communications ("roam like at home"). In the case of voice and video calls made by users, as well as SMS and MMS messages sent, roaming prices may not exceed the prices paid for communications made in Portugal to other national networks. Where customers have subscribed to a national tariff whose monthly charge includes certain volumes of free national calls, text messages (SMS) and/or multimedia messages (MMS), roaming traffic must be discounted from these same volumes and be provided free of charge up to those limits.

However, despite these rules, operators are allowed to implement a fair use policy for the roaming service under the terms set out by the European Commission. As such, if a user exceeds the limits or rules of this fair use policy, a surcharge may be added to the price of their roaming communications subject to maximum limits also set by the Commission.

These new rules are applied automatically, so that anyone with a previously contracted tariff with specific roaming rates (for example tariffs with a certain quantity of roaming communications included or with a daily rate for roaming between EEA countries) should pay attention to the changes that will be made to their tariffs - operators are required to notify users of any changes to pre-existing tariffs in advance, as established in the contract.

Operators often give notice of these changes via SMS or on customer bills. Contact your operator to find out more about these changes in detail.

1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.