My question about prepaid roaming billing was closed. Perhaps it was too carrier-specific.

I've now edited it to make it non-carrier-specific.

Is it ready to be reopened? If not, is there some way I could improve it and make it ready?

2 Answers 2


I do not think you can edit this question such that it fits the site.

The answer will depend on the technical abilities of several networks, their policies on how to charge and their contact with your provider.
In some cases it may even depend on a single cell in a network.

As such it is too broad.

I have not voted when the question came up for re-opening but agreed with the vote not to re-open.

  • I don't actually need to know the exact answer for every possible combination of networks. I just want to know the usual rule of thumb which applies to most situations. ❧ I've now edited the question, in order to try to make it less broad. Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 8:12
  • You are making this more complex than it really is. Protocols for real time billing of prepaid cell phones when roaming were standardized in 1998 and have been state of the art in most cell phone networks since at least 15 or even 20 years. I seriously doubt that any larger provider is allowing prepaid roaming without immediate billing. Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 20:46

My working assumption has always been that billing is effectively immediate, more or less. There are many ways that the networks might achieve this, and the technicalities are beyond the scope of a travel site.

It has to be this way because any systematic delay in billing will quickly be discovered and exploited, losing revenue to the networks. Any delays that do exist will likely be dependent on the specific carriers involved.

Note that tracking network charges in real time is not the same as processing those charges for billing purposes.

  • 4
    I don’t think the final paragraph is fair. I’d rather assume they simply want to know if their balance when they check will be up to date, or if they should factor in possible internet usage over the past few hours before deciding whether they need to top up.
    – Chris H
    Commented Sep 12, 2020 at 7:57
  • 1
    ChrisH is correct. I want to avoid "balance shock". ❧ I don't want to use a bunch of data, see afterwards that my prepaid balance is still high, and then have my balance plummet later on. Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 8:13
  • I've deleted the last paragraph. However, I don't see that the question is answerable outside the bounds of the specific carriers involved.
    – user105640
    Commented Sep 14, 2020 at 23:11
  • @Arthur'sPass It is a little bit late to warm up this question now, but I didn't notice it before. See also my comment to Willeke's answer, but real time billing for roaming prepaid customers has been common for 20 years. There is no reason to assume that any significant provider is offering prepaid roaming and not billing immediately. Commented Sep 21, 2020 at 20:50

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