Prepaid Data SIM Card Wiki
Advertisement
Be.png

Basics[]

There are three network operators in Belgium operating in 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE and new on 5G:

  • Proximus
  • Base (owned by Telenet)
  • Orange (previously known as Mobistar)

About 40 virtual operators (MVNOs) are active in the country, mostly on the Base network. eSIMs for prepaid are not yet available in Belgium.

Coverage[]

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 all-round 3G coverage but still not as good as Proximus. For 4G the three providers use 800 MHz (B20), 1800 MHz (B3) and 2600 MHz (B7) 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 (98% of the population and 90% of the territory with some gaps in the French-speaking part). In 2021/2 5G has been started by Proximus on 2100 MHz (n1) and all three providers on 3500 MHz (n78) in some cities, but is not available for prepaid so far.

Apart from consulting the coverage maps from the providers, the Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT/IBPT), which is the national regulator, publishes an interactive coverage map on its website. No specific shutdown dates for 2G and/or 3G have been announced by Belgian operators so far. According to OpenSignal in 2022 all three networks are more or less on a par what coverage and speeds are concerned. Orange is slightly better in the French-speaking part, while Base and Proximus are better in the Dutch-speaking area.

SIM card registration []

The Belgian parliament approved legislation bringing an end to anonymous prepaid cards in 2016 and this new rule took effect in December 2016. A newly sold SIM card will start working only once it's registered. Identification of prepaid users takes place in thesethree ways:

  • at the operator's shop: upon presenting a valid ID, the registration is directly in the operator's database. A scan of the ID may be made -> preferred way!
  • when the SIM card is bought in an independent shop: the customer’s ID card or passport will be scanned and their data transmitted to the operator; in this case it may take up to a week before the registration is processed -> slow way!
  • 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). When done via a Bancontact payment, the registration is valid for 18 months and needs to be repeated every 18 months -> not suitable for foreigners!

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, JIM Mobile, and Scarlet are not mentioned on the list anymore.

The online way remains viable only for residents of Belgium with an e-identity card, an e-residence permit or who have a Belgian bank account. For visitors this means that registration has to be done 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 at any time. The new rules also apply to all existing prepaid cards in service. Users had to identify themselves by 07/JUL/2017 or find their SIM cards to be blocked except for dialling emergency numbers. If blocked, it's still possible to unblock the SIM card until expiry date by visiting an operator's shop.

EU flag.png
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.

Proximus[]

Proximus.jpg

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. It was the first to introduce 4G/LTE in 2012, now included in all prepaid offers and covers 100% of the population in 2017 and 99% of the territory, as well as 5G in 2020, but not available for prepaid at the moment. Its services are usually a bit more expensive than Orange and Base.

Since 2014, 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.

Availability[]

SIM cards called Pay&Go are available in Proximus stores and other points of sale for €10 or sometimes €5 in promotions. Go to a Proximus store to have your SIM registered showing passport or national ID. When purchasing the SIM card from a Proximus physical point of sale, it's possible to identify yourself on presentation of an identity card of a Member State of the European Union, a Belgian electronic card for foreigners or an international passport. In the case of distance selling or when purchasing a SIM card in a physical point of sale that does not belong to Proximus or does not allow identification, the Customer shall be required to identify himself by registering with his electronic identity card and the associated PIN code that only Belgian citizens have. It's no longer possible to identify oneself by topping up the SIM card online since 22/NOV/2021.

Top-ups can be done online on the Proximus website for €10, 15, 25 or 50 (€20 not for Pay&Surf and only online) and in most stores (Proximus Center, supermarkets, gas stations etc.). Your SIM card is valid for 12 months following the first call. The validity period is renewed for 12 months after every top-up of €10 or more.

Pay&Go+[]

Pay & Go+ is their standard line with data and voice. Data is at €0.50 per MB default. On this SIM you get unlimited domestic texts and a data bonus for every top-up valid for 31 days:

Top-up online in store Voice SMS
€10 500 MB 100 MB 10 mins 500
€15 3 GB 250 MB 20 mins unlimited
€25 5 GB 500 MB 50 mins unlimited

For more data you can "trade airtime" and get one of these bundles for 31 days:

  • 500 MB for €6, activation: #152*1#
  • 3 GB for €12, activation: #151*1#

To check remaining data allowance, dial #152#.

Roam like at home in all countries of the EU, EEA and UK are included without surcharges.

More info[]

Orange []

Orange-0.png

Orange was previously known in Belgium as Mobistar until 2016, when it started to operate under the brand of its parent company, Orange France. Orange's (or rather 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/LTE is available to all prepaid costumers without surcharge, but no 5G so far: coverage map.

Availability[]

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 (As of August 2019, some debit cards are accepted on the Orange website)

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

Tempo plans[]

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 and Tempo Giga. Regardless which starter kit you have bought, the basic plan can always be chosen by dialling #121#.

The two 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
Data default rate €0.10 per MB €0.50 per MB
€5 default rate default rate
€10 100 mins or 100 SMS or 100 MB 1 GB and 500 SMS
€15 150 mins or 150 SMS or 150 MB 5 GB and 4000 SMS
€20 200 mins or 200 SMS or 200 MB 7 GB and 5000 SMS
€50 500 mins or 500 SMS or 500 MB 10 GB and 10000 SMS

On Tempo Giga you can "transform" balance into a data package for extra data:

  • for €15 you get 8 GB data for 31 days by *123*44# and option 5

For all two plans they offer these data packages:

  • 1 GB for 24 hours: €2
  • 1.5 GB for 7 days: €5
  • 1 GB for 31 days: €10

EU roaming[]

In 2017, Orange scrapped all surcharges for roaming in the EU/EEA. In contrary to Orange France and Luxembourg, Orange Belgium does not include Switzerland in its free roaming zone while the UK is still included.

More info[]

BASE (owned by Telenet)[]

Base.png

Base was taken over from KPN by Telenet in 2017 and is controlled now by Liberty Global. 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 4G/LTE covers 98% of the population at the end of 2021.

Availability[]

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[]

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.

Every top-up translates into airtime and special allowances:

Top-up Data Voice SMS
€5 €5 airtime
€10 1 GB €10 airtime 250
€15 4 GB €15 airtime 1000
€20 4 GB €20 airtime 1000
€25 8 GB €25 airtime 5000
€30 8 GB €30 airtime 5000
€50 8 GB €50 airtime 5000
€90 8 GB €90 airtime 5000

You can use airtime as data at high €0.50 per MB or better buy Surf & mail packs shown below from your balance. Check balance by *444#.

Data feature packs[]

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

Activate your Surf & Mail option in your customer zone via SMS or on their app:

  • 2 GB: €10 - for activation text 'SURF10'
  • 4 GB: €15 - for activation text 'SURF15'
  • 8 GB: €25 - for activation text 'SURF25'

To activate, text code to 1914. For overuse or after 30 days you will surf on the default rate. The packs can be activated as many times as you like.

EU roaming[]

As of 15th June 2017, the Surf & Mail packages as well as the default rate of €0.50 per MB also apply for usage in all EU countries + UK, 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 horrendous €3 per MB.

More info[]

Vectone Mobile[]

Vectone.jpg

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[]

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. It is also possible to download the Vectone App that contains a feature to register and activate a sim online.

Further top-ups are available online for €10, 20 or €30 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, Albert Heijn supermarkets or Relay kiosks.

Data feature packages[]

Data usage outside the bundles is charged at €0.12 per MB. They offer these data bundles valid for 30 days. A minimum of €0.50 needs to be in your account to use internet.

Data Price Activation
33 MB €1 *6013#
250 MB €2.90 *6099#
1 GB €5 *6008#
2 GB €7.50 *6009#
3 GB €10 *6018#
5 GB €15 *6010#
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.

EU roaming[]

Roaming within the European Union/EEA: calls, data services and SMS within the EU zone will be deducted from your domestic allowance.

More info[]

Carrefour Mobile[]

Carrefour new.svg

Carrefour Mobile is the brand of the retail chain Carrefour. It operates on the Base network on 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Availability[]

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. Or you can make the registration by a top-up online on their site using a credit card or PayPal. Identify yourself by doing an online reload (please DO NOT register with a smartphone or tablet but with a regular computer).

The SIM card is sold for €10 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[]

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[]

Lyca Mobile []

new logo

Lycamobile, now called Lyca Mobile, 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. Lyca Mobile is the largest MVNO in Belgium. They are using their own IP backbone which is infamous for its very poor routing and effective blocking of tethering.

Availability[]

old logo

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 packs[]

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

Belgium plans[]

Plan Data EU cap Minutes SMS Price Activation
S 1.5 GB 400 500 €10 *139*2001#
Star 10 GB 5 GB 750 750 €15* *139*2011#
M 15 GB 10 GB unlimited unlimted €20* *139*2002#
Unlimited 30 30 GB 16 GB unlimited unlimited €25* *139*9025#
Unlimited 40 60 GB 21.5 GB unlimited unlimited €35* *139*2040#

(*) - These packages are discounted by €5 for first month, if you buy a starter pack with package online.

"Unlimited" implies a FUP of 25 GB or 50 GB in high speed, before throttled to 512 kbps.

EU roaming[]

The data packages mentioned above can be used in the EU, EEA and UK up to the included data quota. All consumption beyond is charged at €0.12 per MB.

More information[]

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

Discontinued offers[]

  • Jim Mobile

JIM Mobile is a MVNO on the Proximus network, owned by Mobile Vikings (a subsidiary of Proximus), which is sold mainly in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium including Brussels mostly.

We had to take off Jim Mobile from the list as some visitors tried to activate the SIM card, but failed. The initial activation is done by a recharge through the Belgian Bancontact transfer system which is not available to foreigners. According to our rules, we have to discontinue their listing until this policy is revised.

  • 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 (owned by Proximus, and operating on that network) is suspended from our list as it seems to rely entirely on online registration from 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.

Advertisement