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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.

4G/LTE coverage Edit

The three providers use 800 Mhz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands and offer 4G/LTE to their prepaid customers and most MVNOs. Proximus and Orange cover 100% of the population and 99% of the territory, Base slightly less (90% of the population and 67% of the territory).

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 lower coverage in the south but is catching up fast and Base has good allround 3G coverage but still not as good as Proximus.

Apart from consulting the coverage maps from the providers, the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecomunications (BIPT/IBPT), which is the national regulator, publishes an interactive coverage map on its website.

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 in December 2016. 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 and Scarlet are not mentioned on the list anymore.

The online way remains only viable 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 an operator's shop and you shouldn't buy SIM cards online, as you will not be able to activate them.

Some shops have continued to sell SIM cards without proper registration. This is not recommended as you can be shut off anytime. The new rules also apply to all existing prepaid cards in service. Users had to identify themselves by July 7th, 2017 or find their SIM cards to be blocked except for dialling emergency lines. If blocked, it's still possible to unblock the SIM card until expiry date by visiting an operator's shop.

EU flag
Belgium is part of the EU, where from June 2017 new international roaming rules are enforced. In most European countries you can now 'roam like at home' at domestic rates rather than excessive roaming rates. Most Belgian providers offer roaming data without any restrictions. For specifics about the new regulation check European Union chapter and every provider below.

ProximusEdit

Proximus
Proximus, originally Belgacom, is the incumbent, State-owned operator and 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/LTE in 2012, now included in all prepaid offers and cover 100% of the population in 2017 and 99% of the territory. Their services are usually a bit more expensive than Orange and Base.

Effective 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. All allowances can be used in the EU without surcharges.

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). Mini/Micro-Sims with a push-out mechanism for micro-sim and nano-SIMs are available. Go to a Proximus store to have your SIM registered showing passport or national ID.

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.).

Pay&Go+Edit

Pay & Go+ is their standard line with data and voice for a € 10 start-up fee with the same credit preloaded. Data is at € 0.50 per MB default.

On this SIM you get unlimited domestic texts and a data bonus for every top-up.

  • for € 10: 100 MB bonus + another 100 MB, if topped up online
  • for € 15: 250 MB bonus + another 250 MB, if topped up online
  • for € 25: 500 MB bonus + another 500 MB, if topped up online

Seperate data allowances for 31 days can be booked:

  • 250 MB for € 4.99, activation: #152*1#
  • 1 GB for € 9.99, activation: #151*1#

To check remaining data allowance, dial #152#.

More infoEdit

Orange (formerly called Mobistar) Edit

Orange-0
Orange was previously known as Mobistar until May 2016, when it started to operate under the brand of its parent company, Orange France. Orange's/Mobistar's 4G/LTE has started in 2014 and now covers 100% of the population and 99% of the territory. It's considered by the Belgian telecommunications regulator to be on par with that of Proximus in terms of coverage.

4G is available to all prepaid costumers without surcharge: coverage map. Orange's 3G network is on par with that of Base and nearly as good as Proximus. In 2017, Orange scrapped all surcharges for roaming in the EU. Contrary to Orange France and Luxembourg, Orange Belgium does not include Switzerland in its free roaming zone.

AvailabilityEdit

SIM cards are available free of charge at Orange centers store locator but a top-up must be made right away. Orange verifies the identity of new prepaid customers before selling them SIM cards in their shops. So prepared to show a ID card or passport.

As a promotion Orange sells their SIM card for € 10 and gives € 15 credit for the start.

Be aware that Orange rejects all non-Belgian credit/debit cards for top-ups on their website. In the country buy vouchers instead, outside use a PayPal account or try becharge.

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

Tempo plansEdit

In 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 each:

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

€ 50 500 mins or 500 

SMS or 500 MB

6 GB and

6000 SMS

3 GB, 500 MB Facebook,

Twitter, unlimited SMS

It's possible to cummulate top-ups to get even more data: eg. two € 15 top-ups will amount to 8 GB and 8,000 SMS and three will amount to 12 GB and 12,000 SMS. For more data, they also offer two packages taken from your credit:

  • 1 GB for 24 hours: € 2
  • 1.5 GB for 7 days: € 5

Activation is by code #123#.

More infoEdit

BASEEdit

Base

Base was taken over from KPN by Telenet in 2017. They have excellent coverage in the Flanders (Dutch speaking part) including Brussels. In Wallonia (French speaking part) you may have less coverage in the more remote area's. This network hosts most of the MVNOs in Belgium. Their 2G covers 99.9%, 3G 99.5% and 4G/LTE 90% of the population at the end of 2015.

AvailabilityEdit

Their prepaid product called B-prepaid+ is sold in Base shops store locator for € 15 or online for € 5 but sent to a Belgium postal address. This amount is fully converted into credit. 4G/LTE is included without a surcharge. Mini micro SIM and nano SIM sizes are sold.

For registration as a foreigner you'll need to visit a Base store and show your passport or other ID.

Recharges Edit

For recharges you are limited to vouchers called Easy Cards sold all over the country or directly at Base shops, as online top-ups require a Belgium bank card.

They give out monthly domestic minutes, texts and data for top-ups as a free bonus:

  • € 10 top-up: 60 Base or 30 allnet mins, 250 SMS, 100 MB data as bonus
  • € 15 top-up: 120 Base or 60 allnet mins, 1000 SMS, 500 MB data as bonus
  • € 20 top-up: 240 Base or 120 allnet mins, unlimited SMS, 1 GB data as bonus

Check balance by *444#.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 0.50 EUR per MB. The option "Surf & mail" can be activated on the cards to more data:

  • Surf & Mail 5: 100 MB for 30 days - € 5, activation: 'SURF5'
  • Surf & Mail 10: 2 GB for 30 days - € 10, 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.

European Roaming Edit

As of 15th June 2017, the Surf & Mail packages as well as the default rate of 0.50 EUR per MB also apply for usage in EU countries + Norway and Iceland. The following package is available for use in Switzerland, Jersey and Monaco:

  • 1 GB for € 15, for activation text 'DataEuropePlus' to 1914. Default rate in these countries is a heavy € 3 per MB

More infoEdit

JIM MobileEdit

JIM BE LOGO NEW

JIM Mobile is a MVNO on the Base network, owned by Medialaan, the same owner as the on-line only Mobile Vikings, which is sold mainly in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium including Brussels mostly. Jim Mobile is on 4G/LTE too.

Migration from Base to OrangeEdit

Since JIM mobile has changed ownership from Telenet to Medialaan, their offer has been simplified with lowest default rate for data in Belgium of 1 cent per MB. In spring 2019 they are expected to change from Base to Orange network. For that, existing users have been sent an email or text message to check and provide with a Belgian address to send the new SIM card to. JIM does not do residency checks, so any address of a Belgian friend will do to get the new SIM sent. Once you have received the new SIM, you need to text through your old SIM 'SWAP' with the last 4 digits of the new SIM that you have received to 1984 (eg. SWAP1234) to activate the new SIM card.

AvailabilityEdit

You can get a prepaid SIM card online for free to be sent to a Belgium address, at bpost outlets and in shops mentioned in the store locator. They sell only one plan for prepaid, the Binge plan is no longer sold.

ActivationEdit

Foreigners can register their SIM cards upon activation in the points of purchase, after showing identification. They will then register your account in either English, French or Dutch. Some users reported problems of being registered on a foreign passport. So check before purchase, if they are able to.

If your account is registered in English, the MEGASURF bolt-on won't work. Insist that they register you in French or Dutch. When you SMS "MEGASURF", make sure you'll get a text back confirming that it's on.

Recharges Edit

Recharges are no longer be made with Base vouchers since October 30th 2017, you will need to ask specifically for Jim Mobile vouchers, that are available in the following denominations: € 5, 10, 15 and 20. To recharge you text the voucher number to 1984. Each credit remains valid for 12 months. To check balance text 'CONSULT' to 1984 or dial *444#. 

Data feature packs Edit

The default rate is the lowest in Belgium with € 0.01 per MB. For cheaper data you can add to the following package:

  • 1 GB for 30 days: € 5, activation: text 'MEGASURF' to 1984

European Roaming Edit

All data allowances as well as the default rate of 0.01 EUR per MB are also applicable in EU countries without surcharges. In Switzerland, Jersey and Monaco 3 EUR per MB, in rest of the world 9.50-14.52 EUR per MB are charged.

More infoEdit

Vectone MobileEdit

Vectone

Vectone Mobile is another MVNO aimed at the ethno market that in Belgium runs on the Base network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.

Availability Edit

The easiest way to get a SIM card for free is to look in small phone and internet stores aimed at migrant workers. There you are supposed to make a recharge and be sure to do the registration there.

Further top-ups are available online for € 10, € 20 or €3 0 using credit/debit cards, Paysafecard or even PayPal giving a bonus 10%, but valid for a shorter period. You can also top-up at Shell, Total or Esso stations, Alber Heijn supermarkets or Relay kiosks.

Data feature packages Edit

Data usage outside the bundles is charged at € 0.05 per MB. They offer these data bundels valid for 30 days. A minimum of € 0.50 needs to be in your account to use internet.

Data Price Activation
600 MB € 5 *6008#
1 GB € 7.50 *6018#
2 GB € 10 *6009#
3 GB € 15 *6010#
5 GB € 20 *6019#
10 GB € 25 *6020#

To verify your remaining data allowance, dial *6003#. All data bundles will be automatically renewed every 30 days. To stop auto-renewal, dial *6004#. Overuse at the default rate.

More info Edit

Carrefour Mobile Edit

Carrefour mobile

Carrefour Mobile is the brand of the retail chain Carrefour. It operates on the Base network in 2G 3G And 4G

Availability Edit

The starter pack is exclusively sold in Carrefour stores (Carrefour hypermarket, Carrefour market and some Carrefour Express) (store locator). You should register your SIM card in the store showing your ID at the cash register. The SIM card is sold for € 15 with the same credit pre-loaded.

In the same markets you can buy top-up vouchers of € 4, € 6, € 12, € 24, € 36 and € 48. You should use your SIM card at least once per 6 months to keep it alive. Check balance by texting 'EURO' to 1988.

Data feature packages Edit

Default rate is € 0.24 per MB. These monthly bundles are offered and can be used while roaming in the EU without surcharge:

Data Price Activation Deactivation
200 MB € 3 DATA3 STOP DATA3
500 MB € 5 DATA5 STOP DATA5
1 GB € 7 DATA7 STOP DATA7
2 GB € 10 DATA10 STOP DATA10
5 GB € 20 DATA20 STOP DATA 20

All bundles will auto-renew after 30 days, if not deactivated before. Before you activate another data bundle, you need to deactivate the previous before. Activation is by texting code to 1988. Check balance by texting 'EURO' to 1988.

More info Edit

Lycamobile Edit

Lycamobile
Lycamobile from Britain has arrived in Belgium too and is giving out good rates for data. It operates as MVNO on the BASE Network 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE. Lycamobile is the largest MVNO in Belgium. It offers competitive rates for national and international calls and data. They are using their own IP backbone which is infamous for its very poor routing and effective blocking of tethering.

Availability Edit

Their SIM card is sold online for free to be sent to a Belgian postal address or offline at many sales outlets (store locator). As all SIM cards need to be registered now, you'll need to go to one of their stores for registration showing your passport or ID card. Be sure to have it registered or you can be shut-off anytime.

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.

Only buy a Lycamobile SIM when they are able to register in at the point of purchase.

Data feature packsEdit

A default rate of € 0.12 per MB is charged when no data bundle is booked or used up.

They offer a daily bundle for € 1 with 50 MB by activation *139*3001#. Furthermore, these monthly domestic data bundles are available and can only be activated on the new Lycamobile PLUS SIM cards:

Name Data Price Activation
Data 5 600 MB € 5 *139*3005#
Data 10 2 GB € 10 *139*3010#
Data 15 3 GB € 15 *139*3015#
Data 20 5 GB € 20 *139*3020#
Data 25 10 GB* € 25 *139*3025#

(*) - Max. 7 GB in EU/EEA 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, but can be booked these data bolt-ons valid to the end of normal package:

  • Data Bolt On S: 500 MB - € 5, activation: *139*601#
  • Data Bolt On M: 1 GB - € 8, activation: *139*602#

These packages can be used for EU roaming (except data bolt-ons) up to 3G speeds.

EU roaming Edit

The data packages mentioned above can be used in the EU except the € 25 pack. EU roaming is on 3G networks only up to the included data quota. All consumption beyond is charged at 12ct per MB.

More informationEdit

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

Discontinued offers Edit

  • Allo RTL

Allo RTL used to be a MVNO on the Base network. In January 2018 all customers were migrated to Base and the selling of new SIM cards for Allo RTL was terminated.

  • Red Bull Mobile

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 Belgium.

  • Aldi Talk

Aldi Talk suspended its brand and all mobile services in Belgium from June 6th, 2017, because of the new registration rules. New SIM cards won't be activated anymore and all loaded credit on existing SIMs should be used by then, as their service has been terminated without replacement.

  • Scarlet Mobile

Scarlet Belgium has stopped selling prepaid SIM cards as of 14th September 2017. Existing customers can continue to use prepaid services, but they will not connect any new prepaid customers, only postpaid subscribers.

The change follows the introduction this year of personal registration requirements for prepaid users. Several other operators have also dropped or reduced their focus on prepaid as a result. 

  • Ortel

Ortel was a MVNO on the Base network. In March 2017 they were bought by Lycamobile. They have stopped issuing recharges in January 2018 and all SIM cards will expire by 31st March 2018. Existing users can swap their SIMs including balance for Lycamobile SIM cards

  • Mobile Vikings

This MVNO is suspended from our list as it seems to rely entirely on online registration from December 2016. Unfortunately, you'll need an electronic Belgian ID card or local bank account for online activation. As these SIM cards are no more accessible to foreigners, they were taken off.

Please inform us, when you were able to activate one of their SIMs as a non-Belgian resident. In the meantime, you should better stay away from them.