Vodafone Netherlands with YOU or BloX Edit
Verified in Germany (in May 2016)
Like in Germany Vodafone in the Netherlands have scrapped roaming surcharges for prepaid and sell their included voice, SMS and data allowances while roaming in all of the EU/EEA countries and Switzerland at domestic Dutch rates. Thus e.g. 1 GB for 30 days in and outside of the Netherlands is sold at €10.
Issuing Country Edit
- +31 6# ## ## ###
Roaming option Edit
A domestic (= Dutch) package or plan with allowances must be booked before. The European roaming consumption will be debited from the included domestic package allowance without any further roaming surcharges.
Valid in 43 European countries, in all of the EU and EEA member states, and additionally in Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Monaco, San Marino in all Vodafone roaming networks. Not valid in other areas and without a package booked before where and when roaming is still possible, but at much higher rates.
Roaming networks Edit
Vodafone has the largest system of mobile networks in Europe. It uses either own branded Vodafone networks or so-called Vodafone partner networks like SFR in France or Swisscom in Switzerland. In every mentioned country at least one Vodafone or partner network is available, but other networks remain mostly inaccessible.
4G/LTE is available in the Netherlands in up to 75 Mbps (not on YOU S plan which stays on 3G) and is also enabled in most EU roaming countries. Speed tests in Germany on 4G gave good latency at 50 ms and the same unthrottled high speeds of about 30 Mbps like on a local Vodafone 4G SIM card.
Default rate - daily option Edit
Their data default rate, when no monthly option is booked, is the Internet Dagbundel. It's a daily option valid from midnight to midnight Central European Time with 100 MB for 1 €. This allowance can also be used in EU roaming. The daily option is only charged on days when you go online. So it's a cheap solution for single days similar to Euro1. Note, that you can't upsize the daily option and overuse is charged at 0.16 € per MB in the EU and 0.10 €/MB in the Netherlands.
By default, 4G/LTE access is not allowed using the Dagbundel. However, after contacting Vodafone by using the Chat functionality on their homepage, the Customer Service Representative was able to activate 4G profile without surcharge.
Monthly plans Edit
Their YOU prepaid plan is a combo plan with data, voice and text valid for 30 days in 43 countries:
- YOU S: 5 € - 200 MB of data and 20 minutes calling or SMS in 2G and 3G up to 43.2 Mbps. No 4G/LTE.
- YOU M: 10 € - 500 MB and 50 minutes or SMS in up to 4G/LTE with 75 Mbps
- YOU L: 15 € - 1 GB and 100 minutes or SMS in up to 4G/LTE with 75 Mbps
They also offer data-only options called online only BloX for 30 days to be used on roaming too:
- online-only BloX: 10 € - 1 GB, data-only in up to 4G/LTE
The YOU bundles include free incoming calls and SMS from everywhere as long as you are staying within the 43 country roaming zone and have a bundle allowance for voice. So this doesn't apply to the online-only BloX. A YOU bundle can be combined with an online-only BloX for more data.
The outgoing calls don't only apply to the issuing or roaming countries, but to all voice calls to mobiles and landlines within the roaming area. So you can call from Athens to Dublin using your allowance. Premium numbers, special services, all kinds of MMS and calls out of Europe are excluded from the package and need to be paid extra.
Data billing is in fair 1 KB increments in the EU. The YOU plans or BloX normally don't auto-renew after 30 days. You will get a message and need to book it new to extend. Only some bundles offered as auto-renew "Deze bundel vernieuwen we elke maand automatisch als je genoeg tegoed hebt" will do so, if you have enough credit.
Activating the options Edit
You can activate a YOU plan or BloX by app, on your MyVodafone account or by SMS command:
- for YOU S: text 'YOU S aan' to 4000
- for YOU M: text 'YOU M aan' to 4000
- for YOU L: text 'YOU L aan' to 4000
- for online-only BloX: text 'ONLINE ONLY AAN' to 4000
For overuse outside of their package allowances these high standard charges are applied:
- incoming calls: 1 ct/min on roaming, free in the Netherlands
- outgoing calls: 23 ct/min on roaming, 20 ct/min in the Netherlands
- outgoing SMS: 15 ct on roaming and in the Netherlands
- data: 16 ct/MB on roaming, 10 ct/MB in the Netherlands
Take care, that roaming is still possible outside of their European area too, but at even higher rates. The rates above apply, if you roam without having booked a package before or when the package is expired. You should not call out of Europe to the rest of the world, as high rates are charged incoming and outgoing. For overseas calls better use VoIP or call-back services instead, which are not blocked. This also applies to foreign calls and texts from the Netherlands abroad to anywhere else, as these are on unregulated IDD rates.
To upsize data (or other allowances) is rather tricky, as there are limited options. When data is used up before the month is over on a YOU bundle, they'll offer you 10% of the allowance on top for free. If you need more, you can only add an online-only BloX for 10 € and 1 GB, valid for another 30 days or you'll end up on the high standard rate. Their 'Data Deal' with 200 MB for a week at 1 € is not valid for roaming, but only in the Netherlands.
An online-only BloX expires after 30 days or when all data are used up. It can be renewed anytime for another 1 GB only, as there are no other packages available.
Availability of SIM Card Edit
This Vodafone SIM is a Netherlands-issued SIM Card. Vodafone in the Netherlands sells it only within the country. But some online vendors distribute it worldwide. Be aware, that Vodafone SIM cards from other countries (but Germany, see Euro7) don't offer this option up to now. The SIM in the starter pack is triple-sized in standard, mini and nano format.
In the Netherlands Edit
In the Netherlands you get a Vodafone SIM card for free without credit on their website here. But they will only send it to a Dutch postal address. If you know anyone in the country, who can forward you a letter, it can be a good option. In the country you will get it in all Vodafone shops (locator) for 5 € with the same credit and in other phone shops like Phone House (locator) or smaller stores and electronic markets like Media Markt too. No need to show an ID card or passport up to now and no registration.
Outside of the Netherlands Edit
Online, dealers send you the SIM card abroad to any address worldwide for an extra handling fee. Look on Amazon or eBay on a worldwide search for Vodafone SIM cards from the Netherlands. Don't get confused with Vodafone SIM cards from other countries.
A tightening of security laws for unaccounted prepaid SIM cards is currently discussed in the Netherlands, but up to now SIM cards are still freely available, can be purchased in the country without showing an ID card or any registration and can be freely sent outside. This may change in the future.
Registration / Activation Edit
As Dutch SIM cards don't need to be registered so far, it will arrive alread pre-activated and will connect to a roaming network right away. Default PIN number is 0000.
After you have put it in to your device and got network connection, you need place a call or send a SMS anywhere to activate it which will be charged according to standard rates. The activation is confirmed by a message.
Managing the SIM card Edit
For managing the SIM card you should log on to your personal account on Vodafone called "MyVodafone". There you can check data and other consumptions, change plans or book add-ons. This can also be done by their app which may not so easy to install and some basic commands by USSD code.
By USSD codes and text commands Edit
These are the most common USSD codes. Have in mind that the reply messages are in Dutch:
- *101#: credit check
- #100#: your phone number
- to change language of your messages to English, text 'English' to 4000
- to see a detailed credit, text 'status' to 4000
On your personal account "My Vodafone" Edit
You should register on your personal account called "My Vodafone" as card management can be easily done there and this account can be moved to a translator, if you don't understand what it's saying, but it can't be switched to English though.
First you need to register for MyVodafone on their website . Go to MyVodafone and Account aanmaken > click Ja, ik will een account. Enter your phone number written as Mobiel nummer on the plastic tray of the SIM: 061########## (use Dutch format). Give your gender as male = Dhr. or female = Mevr., your first name Voornam, your family name Achternaam and a valid email address (twice) for verification. You have to set a password at Wachtwoord (entered twice, numbers and letters, 6-15 digits, the bar needs to turn green) and demand a SMS code to your phone at Verstuur SMS code. You enter the code and click on Account maken.
They'll send you an email for verification to the given address which need to be confirmed by clicking on the word 'activeren' in the mail. Now your account is operational and you can log in called inloggen. As username (gebruikersnaam) your email address is used and as password (wachtwoord) your set code.
You don't need these account procedures to top-up (this can be done on a special site as shown below). Or you can use their app instead.
By app "MyVodafone" Edit
Vodafone NL has developed an app for Android, iOS and Windows Mobile devices called MyVodafone. This can be very handy to manage your SIM and check your consumptions. But you will face two problems: it's in Dutch only and can't be transfered to a translator tool. And the app is only distributed through the geo-restricted Google Play, iTunes or Windows stores. For Android users it's uploaded here (MyVodafone V. 4.14 - 25.6 MB). They need to allow apps from other sources to install.
Apple users need to jailbreak their devices, what is not recommended and that's why there is no upload for them here. Please use it only, when you know what you are doing and understand at least some basic Nederlands.
Like for your personal account, you'll need to set a username and password. The registration is similar and you can use the same set log in of your MyVodafone account to log into your app too.
APN Settings Edit
- APN: live.vodafone.com
- Username and password: vodafone
- For roaming you need to enable data roaming on your device and ignore the warning of possible high costs.
There are several ways to top-up (opwaarderen in Dutch) your account depending on where you are:
In the Netherlands Edit
Just go to any supermarket, kiosk, service station, newspaper stand, post office, some ticket machine etc. and get a Vodafone voucher to top-up. They are locally called opwaardeerbon and are available for 10 €, 20 €, 30 €, 40 € or 50 €. The PIN must scratched free to be entered in your phone like this: *102*<15digit PIN code># and <call>. These reload cards work from abroad too, but vouchers of different Vodafone networks other than from the Netherlands don’t work.
In and outside of the Netherlands: Edit
Vodafone offers several ways to top-up your account from abroad. Through their website, your online account or their app you can reach their top-up site or simply go to opwaarderen. Choose Eenmalig opwaarderen (top-up once) and via credit card as for iDEAL you need a Dutch bank account. You can top-up 10 €, 20 €, 30 €, 40 € or 50 €. After a 10 € top-up your whole credit will be valid for one year.
Vodafone uses the Dutch service provider Alphacomm BV for their recharge service. They accept VISA and Mastercards, Maestro and Dutch debit systems. All credit card transactions are free of surcharges. This company may decline some out-of-European credit cards and some cards issued in the UK as well as debit cards, as they have done in the past.
Other top-up agencies in the Netherlands like opwaarderen.nl and beltegoed.com may do the job fro small fees. While they can be picky about foreign credit cards too - give it at try - they accept PayPal and PaySafeCards (opwaarderen) or even bank transfers (beltegoed).
Expiry and Termination Edit
The expiry rules of this SIM card may be interesting to you, if you plan to keep the SIM for another trip. They are pretty casual. The loaded balance is valid for 12 months after the last top-up. The validity can be checked online or by app. When your credit has expired after 12 months, you have 3 months to top-up to get your preloaded credit back. After about 15 months your SIM card will be terminated.
There are no known restrictions to roaming. Dutch and EU net neutrality laws make sure that you can use VoIP and call-back services as well as tethering through a WiFi hotspot.
Comparison to Vodafone Germany Edit
So far only two Vodafone networks in Europe have opened their prepaid packages to EU roaming without surcharges: Vodafone Germany and its resellers (see Euro7) and Vodafone Netherlands. Both products are similar, but have certain differences as well:
- Switzerland, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, San Marino and Monaco are included in the NL, in Germany they are not.
- Combo packages last for 30 days in the NL, not for 28 days like in Germany
- Different combo packages at slightly different rates are offered in both countries
- A data-only pack is offered in the NL, in Germany this is only done by Vodafone resellers
- Top-ups can be made on the Vodafone website by internatl. credit cards without surcharges in the NL, in Germany you will be charged 0.50 € more.
- The German product needs to be registered on a German address to be activated, the Dutch product doesn't need to be registered and can be activated by a call or SMS.
- The German product is much more widely available on eBay.de or Amazon.de often with substantial discounts on the starter packs. The Dutch SIM is rarely sold in the secondary market, mostly with a surcharge for a start.
- Support hotline: 1200 (from your Vodafone phone)
- or +31 654 500 100 (from any phone)
Further options Edit
The introduction of EU roaming without surcharges to the Dutch market has found some copies so far:
- Market leader KPN also offers their prepaid bundles for roaming all over the EU/EEA without surcharges, but at higher domestic rates than Vodafone. For instance 1 GB are sold at € 16 with 4G/LTE. This is slightly reduced by their reseller Kruidvat Mobiel with 1 GB without 4G/LTE at € 12.50.
- New entrant Tele2 and its reseller *bliep also sell cheap EU roaming. They don't include EU/EEA roaming in their domestic allowances like Vodafone or KPN, but sell EU packages instead as regular add-ons with 1 GB at € 10.
For these offers check their section in the Netherlands chapter.