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.


1 European Union countries plus Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.