From May 15, rates for calling or sending a text message abroad will be capped in Belgium, for users of both mobile and fixed phones. Following the disappearance of roaming fees in all EU member states two years ago —which meant that mobile communication rates were harmonised throughout the EU— Belgium’s telecommunications institute announced that as of mid-May it will be “cheaper for residential users to call or text from Belgium to another EU country.”
Operators will now charge Belgians wishing to text or call EU numbers no more than €0,19 per calling minute or €0,06 per SMS.
Depending on the operator, calling rates to other EU numbers can currently reach up to €1 per minute, according to the institute’s statement.
In its statement, the institute said that mobile-phone packages would not be subject to the cap, as some operators offer packages in which calls to the EU and other international destinations are “bundled up.”
Customers will be free to choose to opt for the capped-rates and must give their “express consent” if such is the case.
Some operators will be allowed to ask for a derogation from this new regulation, which would allow them to continue to apply international communication surcharges to their customers.