There are three network operators in Belgium:
- Base (by Telenet)
- Orange (previously known as Mobistar)
About 40 virtual operators (MVNOs) are active in the country, mostly on the Base network.
2G and 3G coverageEdit
The whole country is covered by all three networks on 900 and 1800 MHz in 2G. 3G is on 900 and mostly 2100 MHz. Proximus has the best 3G coverage for most of the country, Orange has good 3G coverage in the north with less coverage in the south but is catching up fast and Base has good allround 3G coverage but still not as good as Proximus.
4G/LTE coverage Edit
All three providers use 800 and 1800 MHz band and offer 4G (where available) free to their prepaid customers and most MVNOs. Base reaches 90%, Proximus and Orange 99% coverage of the population by LTE at the end of 2015.
SIM cards are still available free in the country without personal registration. This is going to change in 2016, as a mandatory registration is discussed after the terrorist attacks. The implementation of the new law however is delayed. Orange announced to check all IDs of new customers in their shops from June 2016.
Base has a good coverage all over the country and is home to most MVNOs in Belgium. Their 2G covers 99.9%, 3G 99.5% and 4G/LTE 90% in Q4 2015.
Their prepaid product called "B-prepaid+" is sold in Base shops store locator for € 15 or get it online for € 5 to a Belgium address. This amount is fully converted into credit. 4G/LTE is included without a surcharge. For recharges you are limited to vouchers called Easy Card sold all over the country or directly at Base shops, as online top ups require a Belgium bank card.
They give out monthly mins, texts and data for top-ups as a free bonus:
- € 10 top-up: 60 Base or 30 allnet mins, 250 dom. SMS, 100 MB data as bonus
- € 15 top-up: 120 Base or 60 allnet mins, 1000 dom. SMS, 500 MB data as bonus
- € 20 top-up: 240 Base or 120 allnet mins, unlimited dom. SMS, 1 GB data as bonus
Data feature packsEdit
Default rate is 0.50 EUR per MB. The option "Surf & mail" can be booked on the cards to more data:
- Surf & mail 5: 100 MB for 30 days - 5 EUR, activation: 'SURF5'
- Surf & mail 10: 1 GB for 30 days - 10 EUR, activation: 'SURF10'
To activate, text code to 1914. For overuse or after 30 days you will surf on the default rate. The packs can be booked as many times as you like.
Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM
- APN: gprs.base.be
- Username and Password: base
- Website in English online
Below is a selection of MVNOs that operate on Base network, reselling it cheaper:
Aldi Talk (by Medionmobile)EditAldi Talk is an MVNO offered by Aldi (one of the big discounter supermarket chains in Belgium) and operates on the Base networknetwork. Its coverage is identical to that of Base and 4G/LTE is included without surcharges.
Aldi Talk SIM cards (or "startsets") are sold exclusively in Aldi markets. You can use the ALDI store locator to find one. They may not be on display, in which case you have to ask the person at the cash register for it.
A starter set costs 9.99 EUR and includes 10 EUR worth of credit. The default PIN code is 1111. The set includes instructions for calling Aldi Talk in order to activate your new SIM card.
Top ups are by vouchers of 10 or 20 EUR available in store or online. If you recharge online possible charge amounts are 5, 10, 20, 30 or 50 EUR and you can pay by Bancontact (Belgian debit card system), MasterCard, Visa or Maestro. Registering your MasterCard or Visa credit card allows you to set a PIN code allowing you to top up by calling the "1966" Aldi Talk self-service number. Any top-ups made this way will then be charged to your credit card.
Be aware, that you need a phone as you have to actually make one phone call to activate the card. It's not possible to activate the card by calling the hotline or over the internet. If you want to register the new card on the website or with the App, it has to be activated before. Otherwise the system doesn't know your phone number. After the first activation by phone, you can register the data packs by SMS or online.
Data feature packs Edit
Default rate without pack is 0.24 EUR per MB.
- 400 MB in 30 days for 4 EUR, activation: 'DATAS'
- 1 GB in 30 days for 8 EUR, activation: 'DATAL'
Activate Internet Bundle by sending code to number "1966". Send "BUNDLE USAGEALL" to check remaining data volume. When the bundle is used up by volume or time, it does not auto-renew. Then you can surf on the expensive default rate or buy another bundle anytime.
- APN: web.be
- User and Password: web
- Website in German, Dutch or French only
Allo RTLEditAllo RTL is another MVNO on the Base network. You can only get their SIM in the French-speaking part of Belgium including Brussels. 4G/LTE is included.
In Base stores and Allo Telecom shops (store locator) in the French-speaking part mostly. The SIM costs 10 € and comes with 10 € of credit. Top-ups can by made with usual BASE vouchers of 5, 15 and 20 €, sold all over the country.
Data feature packsEdit
0.50 EUR per MB. Activation by texting SURF to 1957. The following data packs are available and must be activated by texting the code to 1957
- 100 MB for 30 days: 5 EUR, activation: 'DATA5'
- 1 GB for 30 days: 10 EUR, activation: 'DATA10'
- APN: gprs.base.be
- Username and Password: base
- more info online only in French
JIM Mobile is a MVNO on the Base network, which is sold in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium including Brussels mostly. Jim Mobile is on 4G/LTE too.
You can get a prepaid SIM card online for free to be sent to a Belgium address or telecom shops in the dutch speaking part of Belgium store locator. The electronics shop at the Eurostar terminal sells prepaid 15 Euro SIM cards. They speak English and will be the first point of purchase for many Brits. Top-ups can be made by usual Base vouchers sold all over the country.
They sell two different plans for prepaid: Classic and Binge
You must call the operator to activate your SIM card. They answer in either Dutch or French, I found that choosing French will allow you to ask for an English speaking operator. They will then register your account in either English, French or Dutch. Beware: If your account is registered in English, the MEGASURF bolt on will not work. Insist the operator registers you in French or Dutch. When you SMS "MEGASURF", make sure you get a text back confirming that it is operating.
Data feature packsEdit
Default rate is 0.50 EUR per MB. Different top-up values are given out for Classic and Binge plans:
- On Classic you get data, mins and texts a free bonus valid for 30 days:
- for a top-up of € 10: 100 MB and unlimited dom. SMS
- for a top-up of € 15: 600 MB, 30 Base mins, and unlimited dom. SMS
- for a top-up of € 20: 1.2 GB, 60 Base mins and unlimited dom. SMS
- for more data you can add:
- 500 MB in 30 days: 5 €, activation: text 'MEGASURF' to 1985
- 1 GB in 30 days: 10 €, activation: text 'SURFMAX' to 1985
- On Binge monthly allowances are debited from your top-up and not given as bonus:
- € 10: 1.25 GB
- € 15: 3 GB
- € 20: 4 GB
- APN: see Base or Allo RTL above
- Website available in Dutch and French only
Mobile VikingsEditMobile Vikings is another MVNO on the Base network. 4G/LTE has been opened on all tariffs.
Mobile Vikings is an online-only operator, the only way to get a SIM is to order one on their website, usually takes 2-3 working days. If you are not in Belgium: As the website only accepts Belgium as the country for delivery so you enter you address as normal but with Belgium as your country then you must send an email to email@example.com to let them know your real country.
If you order a SIM with a new number, what most non-Belgians will do, you have to pay an extra 15 Euros for it. If you use it for data only, 12 EUR or 2 GB (see below) will be credited to your account.
As they deliver a SIM card abroad you can order before you enter the country and know your number already. Being in the country it's not so useful as they don't have offline shops and it needs to be sent to a Belgium address by mail.
Data feature packsEdit
|Price||Data||Domestic Calls||Domestic SMS|
|10 EUR||500 MB||50 mins||500|
|1 GB||25 mins|
|15 EUR||2 GB||100 mins||2000|
|4 GB||50 mins|
|25 EUR||3 GB||200 mins||3000|
|6 GB||100 mins|
|50 EUR||5 GB||1000 mins||5000|
|10 GB||500 mins|
All packs are valid for 1 month and include 9000 SMS and 1800 mins per month to other Belgian Vikings. As add-ons for more data within a running pack 5 GB are sold for 5 EUR and 25 GB for 10 EUR in a promotion until 29/2/2016.
Data-only SIM Edit
For data-only they offer a monthly 2 GB pack for 12 €. The data-only SIM is sold for 15 € with 12 € or 2 GB credit preloaded.
Foreigners without Belgian credit cards can top up their SIM by using one of the following methods:
- online bank transfer (this kind of top-up takes up to 3 business days)
- PayPal (an online payment system with Visa and Mastercard)
- Viking Points (you can top up your SIM card by using Viking Points you bought earlier)
- Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa)
Multi SIM that contains all 3 sizes: micro, mini and nano.
Remove existing APNs and add the following:
- APN: web.be
- Username and Password: web
- Website available in English
Proximus is still the market leader in Belgium with the best overall coverage in the country on 2G, 3G and 4G. They were the first to introduce 4G in 2012 and cover 99% of the population in 2016. 4G/LTE is included in all Proximus Pay&Go top-up cards at no extra charge and requires no activation.
Effective Spring 2014 the capable iPhones of Apple are now supported on the 1800 MHz frequency of LTE as well. Accelerated LTE+ has been introduced to major cities, but is not available on prepaid yet.
SIM cards called Pay&Go are available in Proximus stores and other points of sale . They come in different Pay&Go tariff lines (see below).
Top ups can be done online for 10, 15, 20, 25 or 50 € (20 € not for Pay&Surf and only online) in most stores (Proximus Center, supermarkets, gas stations etc.) or through an ATM using Belgian debit cards only.
Pay&Go Easy Edit
Pay & Go easy is their standard line for 15 € start up fee with the same credit preloaded. Data is at 0.50 € per MB default.
Pay&Go Max Edit
This is their combined prepaid call, text and data product. The starter pack is for 15 € containing 90 domestic call minutes, unlimited domestic SMS and 500 MB of data valid for 31 days. The following reloads are available and valid for 31 days:
- 15 € for 90 mins domestic calls, unlimited dom. SMS and 500 MB (or 1 GB if topped up online)
- 25 € for 150 mins domestic calls, unlimited dom. SMS and 1.5 GB (or 3 GB if topped up online)
- 50 € for 360 mins domestic calls, unlimited dom. SMS and 2 GB (or 4 GB if topped up online)
Overuse is charged with 0.50 € per MB. Top-ups can be made ahead of time but volume doesn't roll over.
Pay&Go Smart Edit
This is their plan mainly for data and text. Start up price is 10 € with the same credit. On this SIM you get unlimited domestic texts and a data bonus for every top up.
- for € 10: 100 MB bonus
- for € 15: 250 MB bonus + another 250 MB, if topped up online
- for € 25: 500 MB bonus + another 500 MB, if topped up online
Pay & SurfEdit
This is their data-only product aimed at tablets and modems. It's automatically blocked if data amount is exceeded. The starter pack is 10 EUR with 500 MB preloaded valid for 31 days.
The following reload options are available and valid for 31 days:
- 500 MB for € 10 + 250 MB bonus
- 750 MB for € 15 + 375 MB bonus
- 1250 MB for € 25 + 625 MB bonus
- 2500 MB for € 50 + 1250 MB bonus
The bonus will be awarded if you reload at least 15 € within 30 days of your previous reload. Bonus is received after an additional top up in 31 days after topping up. All packages are valid for 31 days, credit is valid for a year (1 month for a € 5 topup). Credit can be checked with the #121# combination, bonus with #120#.
Sim sizes Edit
Mini/Micro-Sims - mini- (2FF) with a push-out mechanism for micro-sim (3FF), Nano-SIMs - (4FF) are available on request
- APN: internet.proximus.be
Belgacom, owner of Proximus, revamped its brand Scarlet as a triple player in the low-cost segment and added a prepaid SIM card to their portfolio in 2015. It operates as a subsidiary on the network of Proximus in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. In April 2016 they declared to scrap all roaming surcharges and sell EU roaming data at domestic rates.
Their only prepaid SIM card can be ordered online for free to be sent to a Belgium postal address. You can get it on location in all Belgium branches of The Phone House (locator) for €10 or €15 with the same credit loaded.
To set the language of the SIM card to English, text 'LANG ENG' to 1994. Top-ups can be made online using a credit card or by vouchers sold at Phone House too for €8 and €15. To add a voucher type #121*<voucher code>#. SIM card and credit stay valid for 6 months after the last recharge. Check credit by #121#.
Data feature packages Edit
Default rate is 0.10 EUR per MB. They only offer one package:
- 500 MB for 30 days: € 5
Activation is by texting '500MB' to 1994. Check data balance by texting 'CONTROLE 500MB' to 1994.
EU roaming offer Edit
From 29th of April 2016 Scarlet scraps all roaming surcharges for voice, text and data in the EU/EEA (excluding Switzerland). You can use your domestic allowances without surcharge abroad. A Fair Use Policy is being applied. For 45 days you can 'roaming like home', after that or when the package is used up, the domestic default rate of 0.10 EUR per MB applies.
- APN: internet.bmbpartner.be
Orange (formerly called Mobistar)EditMobistar has been rebranded into Orange starting 6th of May 2016. Orange's 3G network is better than Base and now nearly as good as Proximus and still catching up fast. 4G/LTE has started in 2014 and already covers 99% of the population. It's available to all prepaid costumers without surcharge: coverage map.
SIM cards are available free of charge at Orange centers store locator but 15 € top up must be made right away. Orange has announced to be the first operator to verify the identity of new prepaid customers before selling them SIM cards in their shops from the end of June 2016.
Internet on mobileEdit
The Internet on mobile starter pack is available online-only with a SIM card for calls, data and texts. But you can change any other prepaid tariff plan like Kangourou or Dauphin to this tariff by typing #121#. Default rate is a high 0.50 € per MB.
As a promotion, Orange lets you test their SIM for free: for 2 days and max. of 250 MB. More data is awarded as bonus for recharges and not debited from the top-up amount:
- 10 € top-up = 10 € credit, 500 domestic SMS, 750 MB data
- 15 € top-up = 15 € credit, 4000 domestic SMS, 4 GB data
- 20 € top-up = 20 € credit, 5000 domestic SMS, 5 GB data
Top-up bonuses are valid for 31 days and must be done online or at Orange centers. Mini SIM, micro SIM and nano SIM are available.
Their data-only SIM is for data and text only and not for calls. It is available without contract (sans engagement) in 2 options:
- Internet Everywhere 15: 2 GB for 15 €
- Internet Everywhere unlimited: 5 GB for 35 €
The package is valid for 1 month (= 31 days). Only mini and micro SIMs are available at Orange shops.
- APN: mworld.be
- online: new Orange website
Lycamobile EditLycamobile from Britain has arrived in Belgium too and is giving out good rates for data. It operates as MVNO on the Orange network in 2G, 3G and 4G.
Their SIM card is sold online for free to be sent to a Belgian postal address or offline at many sales outlets for free. You are expected to make a top up right away. Be sure to get one of the new PLUS cards. Old card can be switched to PLUS as described here.
Data feature packsEdit
0.10 EUR per MB charged when no data bundle is booked or used up. They offer a daily bundle for 1 EUR with 50 MB by activation *139*3001#. Furthermore, these monthly data bundles are available and can only be booked on the new Lycamobile PLUS SIM cards:
|Data 5||600 MB||5 EUR||*139*3005#|
|Data 10||5 GB||10 EUR||*139*3010#|
|Data 15||8 GB||15 EUR||*139*3015#|
|Data 20||10 GB||20 EUR||*139*3020#|
|Data 25||12 GB||25 EUR||*139*3025#|
For activation type code and <call>. They will auto-renew if not stopped by calling customer service 1976 from Lycamobile. All excess data will be charged with the default rate.
Roaming bundles Edit
Lycamobile offers cheap roaming bundles to be used in certain countries only. All packages are valid for 30 days and can't be renewed ahead of time. For more info see Euro5.
- APN: data.lycamobile.be
- Username: lmbe (that's lowcase L, not capital I)
- Password: plus
- Tethering seems to be prohibited and blocked
- Website in English
Red Bull Mobile Edit
The MVNO of the Austrian energy drink operates in Belgium on the Orange network in 2G and 3G. 4G/LTE is not supported yet. It is directed at the urban youth, but open for everyone.
Their prepaid SIM card is sold online for free to be sent to a Belgian postal address or offline at many sales points like all Mobistar Centers (store locator) for free. It doesn't contain credit and you are expected to make a top up right away.
Top ups can be made at the points of purchase or online by interntl. credit or debit cards like Visa, Mastercard with a secure code and AmEx from 5 € to 50 €.
Data rates Edit
- for a 10 € recharge you get: 500 MB and unlimited domestic SMS for 31 days
- for a 15 € recharge you get: 900 MB and unlimited domestic SMS for 31 days
- as an ongoing promotion, you'll get 1 GB for free valid for 31 days for every top-up of 10 € or € 25, if you top-up within 30 days and activate this promotion by typing #141# before.
- all packages comprise "unlimited" Facebook and Twitter usage (up to 10 GB per month), not debited on your data balance
- you can add more data valid for 31 days to these bundles above from your card balance by typing #123#:
- 150 MB: 5 €
- 500 MB: 10 €
More info Edit
- APN: mworld.be
- Website in Dutch and French only