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Belgium

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BasicsEdit

There are three network operators in Belgium:

  • Proximus
  • 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 card registration Edit

The Belgian parliament has approved legislation bringing an end to anonymous prepaid cards in 2016. This new rule has taken effect as of 17th December 2016. Mobile operators have adjusted their terms and are already calling users to have their existing prepaid SIM card registered. A newly sold SIM card will only start working once it's registered.

Identification of prepaid users takes place in two ways:

  • When the SIM card is bought in a shop, the customer’s ID card or passport will be scanned and their data transmitted to the operator.
  • When bought online, identification is made via the customer’s e-identity card, e-signature, certified contract or e-payment transaction with a Belgian bank account (Bancontact payment).

Some MVNO's have opted to allow registration only via an online process without any confirmed facility to arrange registration in a shop. That is the reason why the offers from Mobile Vikings, Scarlet, Lycamobile and Aldi Talk are no longer mentioned.

The online way remains only available for residents of Belgium carrying an e-identity card, an e-residence permit or who have a Belgian bank account. For visitors this means that registration has to be made in the operator's shop and you shouldn't buy SIM cards online as you can't activate them.

The new rules also apply to all existing prepaid cards in service. Users have to identify themselves before 7th July 2017, or face their access to be terminated.  

BASEEdit

Base

Base run by Telenet 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.

AvailabilityEdit

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.

EU Data roaming packs Edit

Base offers 2 data packs for roaming in EU good for 30 days. Otherwise the standard surcharge of € 0.06 per MB will apply. Switzerland and other european countries not in EU are excluded from this deal and the charge there will be € 3.00 per MB

  • 250 MB for € 5, for activation text DATAEU5PRE to 1914
  • 1 GB for € 15, for activation text DATAEU15PRE to 1914

SIM sizesEdit

Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM

More infoEdit

  • 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:

Allo RTLEdit

Allo
Allo 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.

Availability Edit

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.

Foreigners can register their SIM card in a Base shop showing an ID.

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'
  • 1 GB for 30 days in EU: 10 EUR, activation 'DATA PROMO EU PRE'

Technical detailsEdit

  • APN: gprs.base.be
  • Username and Password: base
  • more info online only in French

JIM MobileEdit

JIM BE LOGO NEW

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.

AvailabilityEdit

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. Foreigners can register their SIM cards in a Base shop after identification.

Top-ups can be made by usual Base vouchers sold all over the country. They remain valid for 12 months. To check balance text 'CONSULT' to 1984 or dial *444#

They sell one plan for prepaid, the Binge plan is no longer sold.

ActivationEdit

You must call the operator to activate your SIM card or have it activated in a Base shop. They answer in either Dutch or French. 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'll get a text back confirming that it's on.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 0.20 EUR per MB.

For topping up you get data, minutes and texts a free bonus valid for 30 days: In case you top-up online (but only credit cards issued in EU may be accepted), the data bonus is doubled:

  • for a top-up of € 5: 50 dom. SMS
  • for a top-up of € 10: 200 MB and unlimited dom. SMS
  • for a top-up of € 15: 500 MB, 30 intra-net mins and unlimited dom. SMS
  • for a top-up of € 20: 1 GB, 60 intra-net mins and unlimited dom. SMS
  • for more data you can add:
    • 1 GB for 30 days: 5 €, activation: text 'MEGASURF' to 1985
    • 2 GB for 30 days: 10 €, activation: text 'SURFMAX' to 1985

EU Data Roaming Edit

The standard surcharge of € 0.06 per MB will be applied when there is a monthly domestic data allowance. Otherwise the standard rate will be € 0.20 per MB. This is only strictly valid within EU only. Roaming in countries like Switzerland will be charged with a hefty € 3 per MB.

Just like with Base it's possible to add data packs valid for 30 days for use in EU + Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Jersey, Liechtenstein and San Marino.

  • 250 MB: € 5 - for activation text 'DATAEU5PRE' to 1985
  • 1 GB: € 15 - for activation text 'DATAEU15PRE' to 1985

Technical infoEdit

  • APN: gprs.base.be
  • Website available in Dutch and French only

Ortel Edit

Ortel mobile
Ortel is a MVNO on the Base network including 4G/LTE, that is sold online and in many shops in across Belgium as well. In 2017 they were bought by Lycamobile.

Availability Edit

You can get a prepaid SIM card online for free to be sent to a Belgium address or many telecom and night-shops in Belgium store locator. It is possible to buy and activate and register the SIM card on the spot in the shops mentioned as "Shops where I can register my SIM card" in the store locator.

Top-ups can be made online (including Paypal) or by top-up vouchers sold in night-shops, supermarkets and gas stations. Call credits last 180 days since last recharge. To check remaining balance text BUNDLE to 1966

Data feature packs Edit

Default rate is a whopping 0.50 EUR per MB, but there are packages available that you can book by texting BUY + Name of Package (eg. BUY DATA5) to 1966 or by dialing the matching activation code. All packages include 4G speed where available. To check remaining data text BUNDLE to 1966

  • Data1 for €1, 40 MB for 1 day. Dial *225*2*101#
  • Data5 for €5, 200 MB for 30 days. Dial *225*2*105#
  • Data10 for €10, 2 GB for 30 days. Dial *225*2*110#
  • Data15 for €15, 4 GB for 30 days. Dial *225*2*115#

The following packages include minutes to Belgian phone numbers and Data

  • National15 for €15, 1 GB and 600 minutes for 30 days. Dial *225*2*315#
  • National20 for €20, 1.5 GB and 800 minutes for 30 days. Dial *225*2*320#

EU Data RoamingEdit

The standard surcharge of € 0.06 per MB will be applied when there is a monthly data allowance. Otherwise the standard rate will be € 0.50 per MB. This is only strictly valid within EU only. Data is on roaming only limited available outside the EU

Technical infoEdit

  • APN: web.be
  • Username: web
  • Password: web
  • Website available in Dutch, French, English and Polish

ProximusEdit

Proximus

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.

AvailabilityEdit

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.

Smart+ Full Control Edit

This is a abonnement bloqué or blocked subscriptions which allows to call, send domestic SMS and surf. When you reach the limit, the plan is blocked until the end of the billing cycle. If you need more credit, you'll need to reload your card. The following reloads are available and valid for 31 days:

  • 15 € for 120 mins domestic calls, unlimited dom. SMS and 1GB
  • 25 € for 300 mins domestic calls, unlimited dom. SMS and 2 GB
  • 45 € for unlimited domestic calls, unlimited dom. SMS and 4 GB

Overuse is charged with 0.50 € per MB. Top-ups can be made ahead of time but volume doesn't roll over.

Pay&Go+ 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

Additional Data Packages Edit

Separate data allowance for 31 days can be booked for all Pay&Go tariffs as following:

  • 250 MB for € 4.99. Dial #152*1#
  • 1 GB for € 9.99. Dial #151*1#

To check remaining data allowance dial #152#

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

Settings Edit

  • APN: internet.proximus.be

Orange (formerly called Mobistar) Edit

Orange-0
Mobistar has been rebranded into Orange starting May 2016. Orange's 3G network is better than that of 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.

Availability Edit

SIM cards are available free of charge at Orange centers store locator but a 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.

As a promotion, Orange lets you test their SIM for free: for 2 days and max. of 250 MB. More allowances are awarded as bonus for recharges and not debited from the top-up amount.

To check the remaining balance including data allowance dial #123*1.

Tempo plans Edit

In August 2016 their prepaid portfolio was totally changed: Kangourou/Kangoeroe, Dauphin/Dolfijn and Internet on Mobile plans are not available any more. They have been replaced by Tempo Easy, Tempo Touch and Tempo Giga. Regardless which starter-kit you have bought, the basic plan can always be chosen by dialling #121#.

All three plans consist of a top-up credit valid for 1 year that you can spend at their default rate. On top you get a bonus for every recharge depending on amount and plan. This bonus is valid for 31 days.

Top-up amount

(valid for 1 year)

Bonuses (valid for 31 days)
Tempo Easy Tempo Giga Tempo Touch
Default rate 0.10 €/MB 0.50 €/MB 0.50 €/MB
5 € default rate default rate default rate
10 € 100 mins or 100

SMS or 100 MB

750 MB and

500 SMS

100 MB and unlimited SMS
15 € 150 mins or 150

SMS or 150 MB

4 GB and

4000 SMS

1 GB, 500 MB Facebook,

Twitter, unlimited SMS

20 € 200 mins or 200

SMS or 200 MB

5 GB and

5000 SMS

1.5 GB, 500 MB Facebook,

Twitter, unlimited SMS

50 € 60 mins, 250 SMS

unltd. Orange calls

6 GB and

6000 SMS

750 MB, unlimited Facebook,

Twitter, SMS, Orange calls

For more data, they offer two packages taken from your credit:

  • 150 MB: 5 €
  • 500 MB: 10 €

Activation is by #123#

More InfoEdit

  • APN: mworld.be
  • online: new Orange website
  • My Orange app is available for Windows, iOS and Android Phones allowing the user to check allowances, book options and more

Red Bull Mobile Edit

The MVNO of the Austrian energy drink producer used to operate in Belgium on the Mobistar network from 2011-16. From 2016 all tariffs were migrated to Orange and the brand was closed in the country.

Aldi Talk, Mobile Vikings, Scarlet, Lycamobile Edit

These MVNOs are suspended from our list as they seem to rely entirely on online registration past Dec. 2016. Unfortunately, you'll need a Belgian ID or bank account for activation online. As they are no more accessible to foreigners, we took them off. Please inform us, when you were able to activate one of their SIM cards as a non-Belgian resident. In the meantime, you should better stay away from them, as e.g. Aldi keeps on selling these SIM cards with no way for you to activate them, if you do not happen to be a Belgian resident.

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