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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 lower 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

The three providers use 800 Mhz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands and offer 4G/LTE 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 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, Scarlet, Aldi Talk, Vectone and Carrefour mobile are not mentioned on the list.

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 can't 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 have to identify themselves by July 7th, 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 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 go to an Base store showing 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 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

Check balance by *444#.

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: 2 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. Outside of these packs the standard surcharge of € 0.06 per MB will apply:

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

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 bit cheaper:

Allo RTLEdit

Allo
Allo RTL is a 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

SIM is sold 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. Foreigners can register their SIM card in a Base shop showing an ID card or passport.

Top-ups can by made with usual BASE vouchers of 5, 15 and 20 €, sold all over the country. Check balance by *444#.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 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 the EU: 10 EUR, activation 'DATA PROMO EU PRE'

More infoEdit

  • APN: gprs.base.be
  • Username and Password: base
  • Website 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.

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 1985 or dial *444#. They sell only one plan for prepaid, the Binge plan is no longer sold.

ActivationEdit

Foreigners can register their SIM cards in a Base shop after identification. They will then register your account in either English, French or Dutch. Beware: 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. When you text the bolt-on name to 1985 you will get the text in return in French. If you text to 1984 the confirmation will be sent in Dutch.

Recharges Edit

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 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

Data feature packs Edit

Default rate is 0.20 EUR per MB. For more data you can add to the top-up bonus:

  • 1 GB for 30 days: 5 €, activation: text 'MEGASURF' to 1984 or 1985
  • 2 GB for 30 days: 10 €, activation: text 'SURFMAX' to 1984 or 1985

EU roaming Edit

The standard surcharge of € 0.06 per MB in the EU will be applied when there is a monthly domestic data allowance. Otherwise the standard rate will be € 0.20 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 1984 or 1985
  • 1 GB: € 15 - for activation text 'DATAEU15PRE' to 1984 or 1985

More 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/LTE speed where available. To check remaining data text 'BUNDLE' to 1966

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

The following packages include domestic minutes and data

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

More infoEdit

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/LTE in 2012, now included in all prepaid offers and cover 99% of the population in 2016.

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.

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 - mini- (2FF) with a push-out mechanism for micro-sim (3FF) and mano-SIMs - (4FF) are available on request. 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. 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 shut off, if data amount is exceeded. The starter pack is for 10 € with 500 MB pre-loaded 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
  • 1.250 GB for € 25 + 625 MB bonus
  • 2.5 GB for € 50 + 1.25 GB bonus

The bonus will be awarded if you reload at least 15 € within 30 days after 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. Credit can be checked with the #121# combination, bonus credit with #120#.

More info Edit

Orange (formerly called Mobistar) Edit

Orange-0
Mobistar has been rebranded into Orange in 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 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 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 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 € 500 mins or 500

SMS or 500 MB

6 GB and

6000 SMS

3 GB, 500 MB Facebook,

Twitter, unlimited SMS

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

  • 150 MB: 5 €
  • 500 MB: 10 €

Activation is by code #123#.

More infoEdit

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 Orange network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.

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

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:

Name Data Price Activation
Data 5 600 MB 5 EUR *139*3005#
Data 10 2 GB 10 EUR *139*3010#
Data 15 4 GB 15 EUR *139*3015#
Data 20 7 GB 20 EUR *139*3020#
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.

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.

More informationEdit

  • 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 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 Edit

These MVNOs are suspended from our list as they seem to rely entirely on online registration past Dec. 2016. Unfortunately, you'll need an electronic Belgian ID card or local bank account for activation online. 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, as e.g. Aldi stores keep on selling these SIM cards with no way for you to activate them, if you don't happen to be a Belgian resident.

Vectone mobile, Carrefour mobile Edit

These two brands are banned for similar reasons. Their online registration form still doesn't obey the new registration rules in Belgium as data are not verified. Therefore the users can be shut off anytime. They are going to be added, when a verified registration is in place, that allows foreigners too.

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