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Belgium

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BasicsEdit

There are three network operators in Belgium:

  • Proximus (owned by Belgacom)
  • Base (sold by KPN Group to Telenet)
  • Mobistar (owned by Orange, France Telecom)

About 40 virtual operators (MVNOs) are active in the country, mostly on 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, Mobistar has good 3G coverage in the north with less coverage in the south and Base has good allround 3G coverage but still not as good as Proximus.

4G/LTE coverage Edit

All three providers use the 1800 Mhz band only and offer 4G (where available) free to their prepaid costumers and most MVNOs. Base reaches 82%, Proximus 86% and Mobistar 90% of the population by LTE in 2015.

BASEEdit

BASE
Base has a good coverage all over the country and is home to the most MVNOs. Their 2G covers 99,9%, 3G 99,5% and 4G/LTE 82% in 2015.

AvailabilityEdit

Their prepaid product called "B-prepaid+" is sold in a Base shop 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.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 0.50 EUR per MB. The option "Surf & mail" must be booked on the cards to get cheap internet:

  • Surf & mail 5: 100 MB in 30 days for 5 EUR
  • Surf & mail 10: 1 GB in 30 days for 10 EUR

To activate, text SURF5 or SURF10 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.

SIM sizesEdit

Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM

More infoEdit

  • APN: gprs.base.be
  • Username and Password: base
  • using Blackberrys only suitable from OS 10
  • their website in English online

Below is a selection of MVNOs operation on the Base network:

Aldi Talk (by Medionmobile)Edit

Belgium
Aldi Talk is an MVNO offered by Aldi (one of the big discounter supermarket chains in Belgium) and operates on the Base network. It is prepaid-only and as far as cell phone operators go has a refreshingly straightforward pricing structure, avoiding confusing "special deals" and "free" minutes/data for top-ups of a certain amount in favor of simply offering the lowest rates. As an MVNO on the Base network its coverage is identical to that of Base.

Availability Edit

Aldi Talk SIM cards (or "startsets") are sold exclusively in-store. You can use the ALDI store locator to find one. It may not be on display, in which case you have to ask the person at the cash register for it.

A startset costs 9.99 EUR and includes 10 EUR worth of credit. The default PIN code is 1111. The startset 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.

Data feature packs Edit

Pay as you go rate without pack is 0.24 EUR per MB

  • 1 GB in 30 days for 8 EUR
  • 400 MB in 30 days for 4 EUR

Activate Internet Bundle by sending "DATAS" (for 400MB) or "DATAL" (for 1000MB) to number "1966". Send "BUNDLE USAGEALL" to check remaining data volume. When the bundle is used up by volume or time, you can surf on the default rate or buy another bundle anytime.

Technical infoEdit

  • APN: web.be
  • User and Password: web
  • not for Blackberrys
  • website in German, Dutch or French only

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 frenchspeaking part only. The SIM costs 10 € and comes with 10 € of credit. Top ups can by made with 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 in 30 days: 5 EUR, activation code: DATA5
  • 1 GB in 30 days: 10 EUR, activation code: DATA10
  • 1 GB in 30 days for Blackberrys: 15 EUR, activation code: BB

Technical detailsEdit

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

JIM MobileEdit

JIM-MOBILE-ft
JIM Mobile is a MVNO on the Base network, which is sold only in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium including Brussels. 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. 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 Base vouchers sold all over the country.

ActivationEdit

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. They have the following packs available which must be activation by sending the code to 1984.

  • 500 MB in 30 days: 5 EUR, activation code: MEGASURF
  • 1 GB in 30 days: 10 EUR, activation code: SURFMAX
  • 1 GB for Blackberrys in 30 days: 15 EUR, activation code: BB

Technical infoEdit

  • APN: see Base or Allo RTL above
  • Website available in Dutch and French only

Mobile VikingsEdit

Mobile Vikings is another MVNO on the Base network.
Mobile vikings logo

AvailabilityEdit

Mobile Vikings is a 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. 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 info@mobilevikings.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 Date Domestic Calls Domestic SMS
10 EUR 500 MB 50 min @ 20c/min 500
15 EUR 2 GB 100 min @ 15c/min 2000
25 EUR 3 GB 200 min @ 12.5c/min 3000
50 EUR 5 GB 1000 min @  5c/min

5000

All packs are for 1 month and include 300 SMS and 60 mins per day to other Belgian Vikings.

  • For data only they offer a 2 GB pack for 12 EUR for 1 month.

The packet is automatically booked according the size of the topup you make.

Top UpEdit

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)
  • Bitcoins
  • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa)

Sim sizesEdit

Combined micro and mini SIMs. nano SIMs are also available.

Further infoEdit

Remove existing access points and add the following:

  • Name: Mobile Vikings
  • APN: web.be
  • Username: web
  • Password: web
  • Website available in english, Dutch, english

ProximusEdit

Proximus

Proximus, the mobile branch of Belgacom, is still the market leader in Belgium with the best coverage in the country on 2G, 3G and 4G. They were the first to introduce 4G in 2012 and cover 86% of the population in 2015.

4G 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. LTE is accessible to all prepaid costumers where available without a surcharge.

AvailabilityEdit

SIM cards called Pay&Go are available in Belgacom's 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 (Belgacom Center, supermarkets, gas stations etc.) or through an ATM using Belgian debit cards only.

Promotion: For all top ups of 15 € or more 1 GB of data will be given as additional bonus.

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€/MB.

Pay & Go Max

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 250 MB of data valid for 31 days.

The following reloads are available valid for 31 days (plus 1 GB promotional bonus):

  • 15 € for 90 mins domestic calls, unlimited domestic SMS and 250 MB
  • 25 € for 150 mins domestic calls, unlimtited domestic SMS and 500 MB
  • 50 € for 360 mins domestic calls, unlimited domestic SMS and 2 GB

Overuse is charged with 0.50 € per MB. Topups can be made ahead of time but volume doesn't transfers.

Pay & Go Smart Edit

This is their tariff 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: 10 MB bonus
  • for € 15: 150 MB bonus + 1 GB promotional bonus
  • for € 25: 500 MB bonus + 1 GB promotional bonus

Pay & SurfEdit

This is their data-only product aimed at tablets and modems. It is automatically blocked if 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

MobistarEdit

Mobistar-logo
Mobistar's 3G network is on par with Base but is not as good as Proximus. 4G/LTE has been started in 2014 and already covers 90% of the population. It is available to all prepaid costumers without surcharge: coverage map

Availability Edit

SIM cards are available free of charge at Mobistar centers store locator but a top up must be made right away.

Internet on mobileEdit

This is an online-only prepaid deal with a SIM card for calls, data and texts. But you can change any prepaid traiff plan to this by typing #121#. Default rate is 0.50€ per MB.

Data is awarded as bonus for topups and not debited from the top-up amount:

  • 10 € Topup = 10 € credit, 500 domestic SMS and 750 MB data
  • 15 € Topup = 15 € credit, 1000 domestic SMS and 3 GB data
  • 20 € Topup = 20 € credit, 5000 domestic SMS and 3.5 GB data

Top ups are valid for 31 days and must be done online or at Mobistar centers. Normal SIM, micro SIM and Nano SIM are available.

Internet EverywhereEdit

Their data-only SIM is for data and text only and not for calls. It is available without contract (engagement) in 2 options

  • Internet Everywhere 15: 2 GB for 15 €
  • Internet Everwhere unlimited: 5 GB for 35 €

The package is valid for 1 month (31 days). Only normal and micro SIMs are available at Mobistar shops.

Technical InfoEdit

  • APN: mworld.be
  • more info in Dutch or French only

Lycamobile Edit

Lycamobile
Lycamobile from Britain has arrived in Belgium too and is starting to give out good rates for data. It operates as MVNO on the Mobistar network in 2G and 3G only.

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.

Default Data RateEdit

0.10 EUR per MB charged when no data bundle is booked or used up.

Data feature packsEdit

These monthly data bundles are available can only be booked on Lycamobile PLUS SIM cards:

Name Data Price Activation
Data 5 3 GB 5 EUR *139*3005#
Data 10 5 GB 10 EUR *139*3010#
Data 25 10 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.

SettingsEdit

  • APN: data.lycamobile.be
  • Username: lmbe (that's lowcase L, not capital I)
  • Password: plus

More informationEdit

  • Tethering seems to be prohibited and blocked
  • Website in English

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