International roaming

1. International roaming

International roaming allows the use of mobile services while visiting another country, by using a network of the visited country. This involves calls and texting using a mobile phone or smartphone and using the Internet on your mobile phone, smartphone or tablet.

From 15 June 2017 telecom operators will in principle no longer be allowed to charge extra roaming fees on top of the domestic rates.

This means that you will pay the domestic tariff while visiting another country of the European Union or a country that has signed an agreement with the European Union (Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein). 

As a customer of a Belgian operator, you are entitled to the domestic tariff when you are in a country of the European Union or in a country that has signed an agreement with the European Union (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and when:

  • you call (or send a SMS or a MMS to) a fixed or mobile Belgian number;
  • you call (or send a SMS or a MMS to) a fixed or mobile number of the country you are in;
  • you call (or send a SMS or a MMS to) a fixed or mobile number of another country of the European Union or of a country that has signed an agreement with the European Union (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein).
  • you receive a call or an SMS on your phone, smartphone or tablet;
  • you surf the Internet using your smartphone or tablet.

The exact list of countries where the domestic tariff applies to roaming services is available at the following address: http://www.bipt.be/en/consumers/faq/148-in-which-countries-does-the-european-roaming-regulation-apply

However, operators can apply a (limited) surcharge if they notice that the customer misuses the roaming services. For example, in case of presence abroad and of usage of roaming mobile services superior to a national presence and a national consumption, for a period of 4 months. Misuse could also include a consumption of mobile Internet services exceeding the limit predetermined by the operator. However, such a fair use policy is not mandatory, which means that all the operators have not implemented it. The operators who choose to implement such a system can only impose extra fees (in addition to the domestic tariff) that do not exceed the tariffs below:

 You make a mobile call

  3.8 eurocent maximum per call minute
on top of the domestic tariff

 You receive a call on your mobile device  

1.38 eurocent maximum
for a call within the EU

 You send an SMS

1.2 eurocent maximum per SMS
on top of the domestic tariff

 You receive an SMS

free of charge

 You surf the Internet

0.9 eurocent maximum per megabyte
of data on top of the domestic tariff


As mentioned above, the possible application of a fair use policy, as its scope, will vary depending on the operator. 

When you enter another Member State of the European Union or a country that has signed an agreement with the European Union (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein), your operator has to give you certain information, such as the fact that the operator applies a fair use policy and the conditions thereof, via a messaging system. The conditions regarding the possible application of a fair use policy must also be mentioned in the general terms and conditions of your contract.

It is also possible that your operator has been granted a waiver to keep on charging extra roaming fees after 15 June 2017. If that is the case, the operator will inform you beforehand about the applicable tariffs and terms and conditions. The only operator that has been granted such a waiver for now is Voo Mobile.

2. Please note that the domestic tariff for international roaming only applies:

  • in the countries of the European Union (not in Switzerland, for example);
  • in the countries having signed an agreement with the European Union: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein;
  • if you are not in Belgium (if you call a number abroad while being in Belgium, you will pay an international tariff, which is often higher than the domestic tariff).
  • if you use a mobile device (not a fixed phone abroad) with a Belgian operator's SIM card;
  • if your operator has not been granted a waiver to keep on charging extra roaming fees. Currently, the only operator that has been granted such a waiver is Voo Mobile.

For more information on international roaming, please consult our list of frequently asked questions: http://www.bipt.be/en/consumers/faq/list/41-international-roaming