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Origin-based surcharging for calls from outside the European Economic Area

Origin based surcharging EEAFollowing the Regulation of the European Parliament (EU No 531/2012) on roaming on public mobile communications networks within the European Economic Area (EEA), the European telecom operators are necessitated to distinguish the billing of EEA and non-EEA calling traffic (origin-based surcharging). In several countries in the EEA this already is executed. In Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal and in Spain telecom operators charge different rates for calling traffic coming from within the EEA, and calling traffic coming from outside of the EEA.

Origin-based surcharging in the Netherlands

Origin-based surcharging will be adopted in the Netherlands as well. Several Dutch telecom operators have announced that they will implement different rates based on the origin of the traffic as from the 1st of July 2017. Because this will lead to a price increase in some cases, Highside is compelled to follow in the origin-based surcharging pricing structure.

Date of activation and updates

Although the telecom operators have stated the 1st of July as the start date to implement origin-based surcharging for the Netherlands, it’s not yet defined what the rates for non-EEA origin calling traffic will be. We’ll update this blog-post with new information as soon as we have it, as well as we know what our new voice rates will be.

FAQ on the origin-based surcharging

What is origin-based surcharging for non-EEA calling traffic?
Non-EEA surcharging is a pricing structure based on the origin of the calling traffic. Calling traffic from outside of the EEA will be charged differently than calling traffic from inside of the EEA.


What countries are part of the European Economic Area (EEA)?

European Economic Area (EEA) countries include as from 5-6-2017: Austria, Belgium. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and United Kingdom.


How do the telecom operators identify non-EEA calling traffic?

Telecom operators (including Highside) base the origin-based surcharging on the ‘P-Asserted-Identity’ of the caller. The P-Asserted-Identity is the phone number of the caller presented in the international E.164 format which is given in the ‘SIP Invite header’. For our office phone number for example (+31 (0)85 732 5530), the P-Asserted-Identity’ would be +31857325530.
The ‘SIP Invite header’ for our office number should look as follow:

From: “31857325530”<sip:31857325530@”ip-address”>;
P-Asserted-Identity tel:+31857325530

Faulty formatted and empty P-Asserted-Identities will be surcharged with the non-EEA rates. For more information on this contact us or have a look at http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc3325.txt.

Note: Using the ‘Remote party ID’ header is no longer supported for Called IDs.


Can I still make anonymous calls?
Yes, there’s still a possibility to make anonymous calls to the end user. To do so, you need to put the “Anonymous” value in the SIP Invite header.

In this case the ‘SIP Invite header’ for our office number should look as follow:

From: “Anonymous” <sip:anonymous@anonymous.invalid>;
P-Asserted-Identity: tel:+31857325530
Privacy: id


Where can I find the rates that apply to the non-EEA origin surcharging?

Highside did not decide yet on which rates to activate for the non-EEA origin calling traffic. The reason is that we haven’t received the non-EEA surcharge rates from most of the Dutch telecom operators. Updates on that will follow in this blog. Check our international voice rates for the current active rates.


How can I make sure I don’t pay the high non-EEA rate when I’m in the EEA?

Make sure you’re calling with a valid Caller ID in the SIP ‘P-Asserted-Identity tel:’ header.


How can I make sure I don’t pay the high non-EEA rate when I’m outside the EEA?

If you’re from outside the EEA, but you’re doing business within the EEA, you can buy a Virtual number (DID-number) from an EEA country on our communication platform. With this number set as your caller ID you can call without the non-EEA surcharge.