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Belgium

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General informationEdit

There are 3 (physical) network operators in Belgium:

  • Proximus (owned by Belgacom)
  • Base (owned by the Dutch KPN Group)
  • Mobistar (owned by Orange, France Telecom)

About 40 virtual operators (MVNOs) are active in the country, mostly on 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, Mobistar has good 3G coverage in the north with less coverage in the south and Base has good allround 3G coverage but still not as good as Proximus.

4G/LTE coverage and accessibilityEdit

As in 3G Proximus has the best 4G/LTE coverage reaching already 70% of population, though just starting in Brussels. Base reaches around 50% on 4G and Mobistar started in March 2014 in 270 communities with LTE. All 3 providers use the 1800 Mhz band only and offer 4G (where available) free to their prepaid costumers and MVNOs.

BASEEdit

BASE
Base has a good coverage all over the country in 2to4G and is home to the most MVNOs. In 2G their EDGE is faster than Proximus or Mobistar.

Startup costEdit

Their prepaid product called "B-prepaid+" is sold in a Base shop store locator for € 15 or get it online for € 5 to a Belgium address. This amount is fully converted into credit. 4G/LTE is included without a surcharge. For recharges you are limited to vouchers called Easy Card sold all over the country or directly at Base shops, as online top ups require a Belgium bank card.

Default data rateEdit

0.50 EUR per MB

Data feature packsEdit

The option "Surf & mail" must be booked on the cards to get cheap internet:

  • Surf & mail 5: 100 MB in 30 days for 5 EUR
  • Surf & mail 10: 1 GB in 30 days for 10 EUR

To activate, text SURF5 or SURF10 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.

SIM sizesEdit

Mini SIM, Micro SIM, Nano SIM

More infoEdit

  • APN: gprs.base.be
  • Username and Password: base
  • using Blackberrys only suitable from OS 10
  • their website in english online

Below is a selection of MVNOs operation on the Base network:

Aldi Talk (by Medionmobile)Edit

Belgium
Aldi Talk is the prepaid card of one of the big discounter supermarket chains in Belgium on Base network. It is sold exclusively in their markets ALDI store locator. It may not be on display in the market but you have to ask for it at check out / cash register for it.

Start up costEdit

They sell it for 9.99 EUR including 10 EUR of credit. It has a standard PIN code of 1111. Then you have to place one call for activation. Top ups are by vouchers of 10 or 20 EUR available there.

Default data rateEdit

pay as you go rate without pack is 0.25 EUR per MB

Data feature packsEdit

  • 1 GB  in 30 days for 8.00 EUR
  • 400 MB in 30 days for 4.00 EUR

Activate Internet Bundle by sending "DATAS" (for 400MB) or "DATAL" (for 1000MB) to number "1966". Send "BUNDLE USAGEALL" to check consumed traffic. When the bundle is used up by volume or time, you can surf on the default rate or buy another bundle anytime.

Technical infoEdit

  • APN: web.be
  • User and Password: web
  • not for Blackberrys
  • website in german, dutch or french only

Allo RTLEdit

Allo
Allo RTL is another MVNO on the Base network. You can only get their SIM in the French-speaking part of Belgium including Brussels.

Availability and start up costsEdit

In Base stores and Allo Telecom shops store locator in the frenchspeaking part only. The SIM costs 10 € and comes with 10 € of credit. Top ups can by made with BASE vouchers of 5, 15 and 20 € sold all over the country.

Default data rateEdit

0.50 EUR per MB. Activation by texting SURF to 1957

Data feature packsEdit

The following data packs are available and must be activated by texting the code to 1957

  • 25 MB in 30 days: 3 EUR, activation code: DATA3
  • 450 MB in 30 days: 9 EUR, activation code. DATA9
  • 1 GB in 30 days: 15 EUR, activation code: DATA15
  • 1 GB in 30 days for Blackberrys: 15 EUR, activation code: BB

Technical detailsEdit

  • APN: gprs.base.be
  • Username and Password: base
  • more info online only in French

JIM MobileEdit

JIM-MOBILE-ft
JIM Mobile is a MVNO on the Base network, which is sold only in the dutch speaking part of Belgium including Brussels.

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. The electronics shop at the Eurostar terminal sells prepaid 15 Euro SIM cards. They speak English and will be the first point of purchase for many Brits. Top ups can be made by Base vouchers sold all over the country.

ActivationEdit

You must call the operator to activate your SIM card. They answer in either Dutch or French, I found that choosing French will allow you to ask for an English speaking operator. They will then register your account in either English, French or Dutch. Beware: If your account is registered in English, the MEGASURF bolt on will not work. Insist the operator registers you in French or Dutch. When you SMS "MEGASURF", make sure you get a txt back confirming that it is operating.

Data feature packsEdit

Default rate is 0.50 EUR per MB. They have the following packs available which must be activation by sending the code to 1984.

  • 500 MB in 30 days: 5 EUR, activation code: MEGASURF
  • 1 GB in 30 days: 10 EUR, activation code: SURFMAX
  • 1 GB for Blackberrys in 30 days: 15 EUR, activation code: BB

Technical infoEdit

  • APN: see Base or Allo RTL above
  • Website available in dutch and french only

Mobile VikingsEdit

Mobile Vikings is another MVNO on the Base network.
Mobile vikings logo

AvailabilityEdit

Mobile Vikings is a online-only operator, the only way to get a sim is to order one on their website, usually takes 2-3 working days. If you are not in Belgium. The website only accepts Belgium as the country for delivery so you enter you address as normal but with Belgium as your country then you must send an email to info@mobilevikings.com to let them know your real country.

If you order a SIM with a new number, what most non-Belgians will do, you have to pay an extra 15 Euros for it. If you use it for data only, 12 EUR or 2 GB (see below) will be credited to your account.

As they deliver a SIM card abroad you can order before you enter the country and know your number already. Being in the country it's not so useful as they don't have offline shops and it needs to be sent to a Belgium address by mail.

Data feature packsEdit

Price Date Domestic Calls Domestic SMS
10 EUR 500 MB 50 min @ 20c/min 500
15 EUR 2 GB 100 min @ 15c/min 2000
25 EUR 3 GB 200 min @ 12.5c/min 3000
50 EUR 5 GB 1000 min @  5c/min

5000

All packs are for 1 month and include 300 SMS and 60 mins per day to other Belgian Vikings.

  • For data only they offer a 2 GB pack for 12 EUR for 1 month.

The packet is automatically booked according the size of the topup you make.

Top UpEdit

Foreigners without Belgian credit cards can top up their SIM by using one of the following methods:

  • online bank transfer (this kind of top-up takes up to 3 business days)
  • Paypal (an online payment system with Visa and Mastercard.)
  • Viking Points (you can top up your SIM card by using Viking Points you bought earlier)
  • Bitcoins
  • Credit Card (MasterCard, Visa)

Sim sizesEdit

Combined micro and mini SIMs. Nano SIMs are also available.

Further infoEdit

Remove existing access points and add the following:

  • Name: Mobile Vikings
  • APN: web.be
  • Username: web
  • Password: web
  • Website available in english, Dutch, english

ProximusEdit

Proximus-logo
Proximus, the mobile branch of Belgacom, is still the market leader in Belgium with the best coverage in the country on 2G, 3G and 4G. They were the first to introduce 4G in 2012 and cover now 70% of the population though they had to wait until 2014 to start LTE in Brussels.

Effective Spring 2014 the capable iPhones of Apple are now supported on the 1800 Mhz frequency of LTE as well. LTE is accessible to all prepaid costumers where available without a surcharge.


Startup CostsEdit

Sim cards are for free available in Belgacom's stores and other points of sale  You do have to pay the first topup when buying the card.

Sim sizesEdit

  • Mini/Micro-sim - Normal (2FF) with a push-out mechanism for micro-sim (3FF)
  • Nano-sim - (4FF) available on request

SettingsEdit

  • APN: internet.proximus.be

Packages:Edit

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 (1 month for a € 5 topup). Credit can be checked with the #121# combination, bonus with #120#. Their Hello! app for Android and iOs, gives an overview of credit, bonus and rates.

Generation Connect Edit

is their mobile data product. Starting at 20 € it contains a topup bonus of 2 GB of data and unlimited domestic SMS, both valid for 31 days, and the amount as credit valid for 1 year.

Overuse is not possible as data is automatically blocked after the 2 GB limit is reached. To continue surfing the web you can either reload for €20 (or more) or use credit to order a Pay & Surf pack of 50 MB for €4.99 by forming #152*1#. or 500 MB for €9.99 by forming #151*1#. Topups can be made ahead of time but the bonus does not transfer, the credit does.

Pay & Go Max

is their prepaid call, text and data product. The starter pack is for 15 € containing 90 domestic call minutes, unlimited domestic SMS and 250 MB of data valid for 31 days.

The following reloads are available valid for 31 days:

  • 15 € for 90 mins domestic calls, unlimited domestic SMS and 250 MB
  • 25 € for 150 mins domestic calls, unlimtited domestic SMS and 500 MB
  • 50 € for 360 mins domestic calls, unlimited domestic SMS and 2 GB

Overuse is charged with 0.50 € per MB. Topups can be made ahead of time but volume doesn't transfers.

Pay & SurfEdit

This is their data only product. It is automatically blocked if amount is exceeded. The starter pack is 10 EUR with 500 MB preloaded 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
  • 1250 MB for € 25 + 625 MB bonus
  • 2500 MB for € 50 + 1250 MB bonus

The bonus will be awarded if you reload at least 15 € within 30 days of your previous reload.

ReloadsEdit

Top ups can be done online for 10, 15, 20, 25 or 50 € (20 € not for Pay&Surf and only online) in most stores (Belgacom Center, supermarkets, gas stations etc.) or through an ATM using Belgian debit cards only.

MobistarEdit

Mobistar-logo
Mobistar's 3G network is on par with Base but is not as good as Proximus. 4G/LTE has been started in 2014 and is available to all prepaid costumers.

SIM cards are available free of charge at Mobistar centers store locator but a top up must be made right away.

Internet on mobileEdit

This is an online only prepaid deal with a SIM card for calls, data and texts. Data is awarded for topups.

  • 10 € Topup = 30 domestic minutes, 500 domestic SMS and 750 MB data
  • 15 € Topup = 50 domesitc minutes, 1000 domestic SMS and 3 GB data
  • 20 € Topup = 66 domestic minutes, 5000 domestic SMS and 3.5 GB data

Top ups are valid for 31 days and must be done online or at Mobistar centers. Normal SIM, micro SIM and Nano SIM are available.

Internet EverywhereEdit

Their data only SIM is for data and text only and not for calls. It is available without contract (engagement) in 2 options

  • Internet Everywhere 15: 2 GB for 15 €
  • Internet Everwhere unlimited: 5 GB for 40 €

The package is valid for 1 month (31 days). Only normal and micro SIMs are available at Mobistar shops.

Technical InfoEdit

  • APN: mworld.be
  • more info in dutch or french only

Lycamobile Edit

Lycamobile
Lycamobile from Britain has arrived in Belgium too and is starting to give out good rates for data. It is operating as MVNO on the Mobistar network in 2G and 3G.

Their SIM card is sold online for free to be sent to a Belgium postal address or offline at many sales outlets for free. 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.

Default Data RateEdit

0.10 EUR per MB charged when no data bundle is booked or used up.

Data feature packsEdit

These monthly data bundles are available can only be booked on 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 25 6 GB 25 EUR *139*3025#

For activation type code and <call>. They will autorenew if not stopped by calling customer service 1976 from Lycamobile. All excess data will be charged with the default rate.

SettingsEdit

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

More informationEdit

  • tethering seems to be prohibited and blocked
  • Website in English

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