There are three network operators in Belgium:
- Base (by Telenet)
- Orange (previously known as Mobistar)
About 40 virtual operators (MVNOs) are active in the country, mostly on the Base network.
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 aninteractive coverage map on its website.
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).
5G has been started by Proximus and Orange on 3500 MHz (n78) in some cities in 2019, but is not available for prepaid so far.
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 three 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 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 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 dialing emergency lines. If blocked, it's still possible to unblock the SIM card until expiry date by visiting an operator's shop.
ProximusEditProximus, 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, as well as 5G in 2020, but not available for prepaid at the moment. 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.
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, 25 or 50 (€ 20 not for Pay&Surf and only online), in most stores (Proximus Center, supermarkets, gas stations etc.).
Pay & Go+ is their standard line with data and voice for a € 20 start-up fee with € 20 credit pre-loaded. Data is at € 0.50 per MB default.
On this SIM you get unlimited domestic texts and a data bonus for every top-up:
|€ 10||500 MB||100 MB|
|€ 15||3 GB||250 MB|
|€ 25||5 GB||500 MB|
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#.
- APN: internet.proximus.be
- Website in English: http://www.proximus.be/en
Orange (formerly called Mobistar) EditOrange 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.
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.
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#.
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:
(valid for 1 year)
|Bonuses (valid for 31 days)|
|Tempo Easy||Tempo Giga|
|Default rate||€ 0.10 /MB||€ 0.50 /MB|
|€ 5||default rate||default rate|
|€ 10||100 mins or 100 SMS or 100 MB||750 MB and 500 SMS|
|€ 15||150 mins or 150 SMS or 150 MB||4 GB and 4000 SMS|
|€ 20||200 mins or 200 SMS or 200 MB||5 GB and 5000 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
- 500 MB for 31 days: € 6
- 1 GB for 31 days: € 10
EU roaming Edit
All domestic allowances can be used in the EU/EEA without surcharges.
- APN: mworld.be
- Website in French or in Dutch: https://www.orange.be
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.
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.
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 all-net mins, 250 SMS, 500 MB (1 GB online) data as bonus
- € 15 top-up: 120 Base or 60 all-net mins, 1000 SMS, 1 GB (2 GB online) as bonus
- € 20 top-up: 240 Base or 120 all-net mins, unlimited SMS, 2.5 GB (5 GB online) as bonus
Doble data is given only when topped up online or through their app. Check balance by *444#.
Data feature packsEdit
Default rate is high 0.50 EUR per MB. The option "Surf & mail" can be activated on the cards for 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.
EU 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 horrendous € 3 per MB.
- APN: gprs.base.be
- Username and Password: base
- Website in English: https://www.base.be/en/private.html
Vectone Mobile is another MVNO aimed at the ethno market that in Belgium runs on the Base network in 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE.
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 €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.
|1 GB||€ 5||*6008#|
|2 GB||€ 7.50||*6018#|
|3 GB||€ 10||*6009#|
|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.
More info Edit
- APN: webbe.mundio.com
- Website in English: https://www.vectonemobile.be/en
Carrefour Mobile Edit
Carrefour Mobile is the brand of the retail chain Carrefour. It operates on the Base network in 2G 3G And 4G
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:
|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
- APN: carrefourdata.be
- Username and password: carrefour
- Website in French, Dutch and English: https://mobile.carrefour.eu/
Lycamobile EditLycamobile 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.
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:
|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#|
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#
|S||1 GB||400||500||€ 10||*139*2001#|
|Star||4 GB||750||750||€ 15*||*139*2011#|
|M||7 GB||unlim.||unlim.||€ 20*||*139*2002#|
|L||10 GB||8 GB||unlim.||unlim.||€ 25*||*139*2003#|
|XL||20 GB||14.5 GB||unlim.||unlim.||€ 30*||*139*2007#|
|XXL||30 GB||17 GB||unlim.||unlim.||€ 35*||*139*2008#|
(*) - These packages are discounted to € 5 (Star: € 1) for first month if you buy a starter pack with package online.
EU roaming Edit
The data packages mentioned above can be used in the EU. EU roaming is on 3G networks only up to the included data quota. All consumption beyond is charged at 12ct per MB.
- 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: https://www.lycamobile.be/en/
Discontinued offers Edit
- Jim Mobile
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.
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 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 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 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 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
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.