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Communications to countries of the European Economic Area (EEA)

The operators’ rights and obligations regarding international communications in the European Economic Area (hereafter “EEA”) were introduced by Article 50 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 amending Regulation (EU) 2015/2120, and have been applicable since 15 May 2019.

These rights and obligations are subject to BEREC Guidelines, and are summarised below. For more information, we recommend reading the above-mentioned references.

Principle

Article 50 of Regulation (EU) 2018/1971 - Paragraphs 1 to 7 and 10 to 15 of the BEREC Guidelines

The tariffs of (fixed and mobile) international communications to the EEA may not, in principle, exceed the following amounts (VAT not included):

  • Calls: € 0.19 per minute;
  • SMS : € 0.06 per SMS message.  

These price caps only apply to international calls/SMS which are charged based on actual consumption (see paragraphs 1 to 7 of the BEREC Guidelines).

These caps do not apply to:

  • Tariff plans including a certain volume of calls/SMS messages allocated to international communications;
  • Add-ons including a certain volume of international communications;
  • Tariff plans for professional users;
  • Tariff plans for which BIPT has granted a derogation (no derogation has currently been granted by BIPT).

Alternative tariffs

Article 50 of Regulation (EU) 2018/197 - Paragraphs 16 to 22 of the BEREC Guidelines

Operators may offer “alternative” tariffs, i.e. tariffs which can be offered in addition to the regulated tariffs. Alternative tariffs refer to services which are charged based on consumption and, including calls and SMS messages to EEA and non-EEA countries.

These tariffs can exceed regulated tariffs.

Consumers who have an alternative tariff can switch to a regulated tariff upon single request to their operator. The latter must carry out the switch to a regulated tariff, free of charge, within one working day.

Derogation

Article 50 of Regulation (EU) 2018/197 - Paragraphs 29 to 60 of the BEREC Guidelines

Operators can get a derogation from BIPT, allowing them to apply tariffs exceeding the regulated tariffs. The derogation is granted for a period of 12 months.

This derogation can be granted if, due to exceptional circumstances distinguishing the applicant from most other Union operators, the application of the regulated tariff would have significant impact on that operator’s capacity to sustain its prices for domestic communications.

We invite any operator wishing to be granted a derogation to read paragraphs 29 to 60 of the BEREC Guidelines (see above), and to send an application to BIPT accompanied by the Excel file created by BEREC (see the Annex to the Guidelines).

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