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What is roaming?

Did you know...by Dirk and Marjan20/10/2016

If you’ve ever used your phone abroad, you’re probably familiar with the term ‘roaming’, even if only because you’ll see it on your invoice. But what is roaming exactly? What does it cost, and how can you keep that cost as low as possible? We’ve got some tips for you.

Roaming means using your phone on a mobile network in another country. That’s perfectly possible because providers make world wide agreements to make those calls happen. So it’s thanks to roaming that you can use your phone in, say, the Netherlands, Turkey, Peru or New Zealand. 

The price tag

So roaming is a great thing, but it comes with a price tag. Operators charge each other costs for the use of their networks by foreign customers, the infamous “roaming charges.”When a Proximus customer makes a call in the Netherlands, let’s say on KPN’s network, then KPN will charge a cost to Proximus. Those costs are then passed on to the customer.Roaming charges apply to voice, text messages and data.

It’s precisely that last category that makes for roaming’s notoriety. When you call or text, you only pay roaming charges when you’re actually calling or texting. Not so for data, because modern phones use data connections all the time, even when you’re not really doing anything. By checking if you have mail, for instance, ... Or via apps that check for updates, information or whatever it is they need to function properly.

Charges are dropping in the EU

The good news is that roaming charges between countries of the EU have already dropped significantly in recent times. You’ll pay a maximum of 5 eurocent per minute on top of your national call rate. If someone calls you, that adds 1 eurocent per minute to the bill. Sending a text message is a maximum extra charge of 2 eurocent. Receiving a text message is completely free. When you surf, you pay a maximum of 5 eurocent per megabyte of data.


Even better news is that roaming charges in the EU will disappear completely as from June 2017. From then on you can call, text or surf abroad (in the EU) at the same rate as you would pay in Belgium.
You can find more info on roaming charges here.

What about the rest of the world?

If you travel to destinations outside of Europe, roaming can be an expensive business. You can find all the information about rates for Proximus customers here.

Keep track of your roaming charges

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to control your roaming charges. A good reflex is to install the MyProximus app on your smartphone. This will give a full view of your current invoice, with all charges made nationally and abroad. You can use this to keep track of your private and business subscriptions. This comes in doubly handy if you also have employees traveling abroad.

Buy roaming options before you leave

A second good reflex is to get a prepaid roaming bundle before you leave on a business trip. With Daily Travel Passport, for instance, you get 80 MB mobile internet, 20 text messages and 20 call minutes for €2 per usage day in Europe and €5 per usage day in about 30 destinations world wide, including the U.S.,  Canada, Switzerland and Thailand.
There are other options available if you have more, or specific roaming needs. Check them out on our website.

Good reads:
Dirk and Marjan

Dirk and Marjan

We’re Dirk and Marjan, Bizz Experts at Proximus.

Together with our 400 colleagues we’re standing by to help you with all your telecom questions. Visit a Proximus Center near you or make an appointment.

See you soon.

We’re Dirk and Marjan, Bizz Experts at Proximus.

Together with our 400 colleagues we’re standing by to help you with all your telecom questions. Visit a Proximus Center near you or make an appointment.

See you soon.


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