Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Prepaid SIM Card Belgium: Choose the Best Plan that Gives You the Best Value for Mobile Calls and Data

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Which is the Best Prepaid SIM Card Plan for Mobile Calls and Data?

This article is a comparison guide for five prominent mobile service providers on their best prepaid SIM card plan in Belgium. By presenting the mobile prepaid plan tables on a single page, consumers can make a more informed choice on the desired value that they want to spend and the advantages offered by comparing.

*The 4G Mobile Coverage Statistic and the price plans for all Belgian mobile operators below are checked every 6 months to ensure the highest accuracy.

(Last Mobile Tariffs Check: 10 Feb 2020)


Mobile Network Operators

In Belgium, the three principle mobile network operators are Proximus, Orange and BASE.

Their MVNO Partnership

Although Proximus, Orange and Base are the primary mobile network operators in Belgium, there are also other Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) leveraging on their networks to offer competitive services to the consumers.

Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT) provide a list below on the commercial partners of the three major network operators last seen in November 2018. Now, the information could not be found anymore.

  • Proximus: Scarlet Mobile, Schedom/Dommel;
  • Orange (Ex-Mobistar): Lycamobile, Voo;
  • BASE (Telenet Group): Carrefour Mobile, Ello Mobile, JIM Mobile, Ortel Mobile, United Telecom, Mobile Vikings, Transatel, Vectone Mobile


4G Mobile Coverage Statistic

With the change of interface for BIPT, the latest information on the page was not found too. Hence, the data below would be the last update as seen in November 2018.

Data as of 1 June 2017
OperatorPopulationTerritoryReliability
Proximus100 %99.35 %98 %
Orange100 %99.30 %98.6 %
Base90.01 %66.88 %97.3 %
Reference Source: 
Belgian Institute for Postal services and Telecommunications (BIPT)


Comparison Guide

Choose Your Mobile Number

Do not be surprised that you can choose your preferred number if you purchase your first SIM card from the mobile store instead of ordering it online. If you order online, the telecom company can send you any mobile numbers. You have to resign your fate to accept it. That happened to me in the past when I ordered a SIM card online.

I walked into two stores one day and asked the staffs to show me a list of all the mobile numbers available for sales. I chose a mobile number which is easy to remember and has a special meaning. If you do not ask the staffs to show you the list of mobile number, they will select one number randomly and sell it to you.

Why Use a Prepaid Card?

You may not make a lot of calls due to limited contacts when you first arrive in Belgium. A prepaid card will take away the monthly commitment to pay when one is not working. It is deducted from the prepaid amount whenever one makes a call.

The maximum validity of the credit is 12 months provided by some mobile companies. Prepaid card plans which last for a long time allow you to retain back your mobile number while you go back to your country and then, return to Belgium later. It is suitable for frequent travellers.

In Belgium, it is easy to switch from a prepaid credit to a monthly subscription plan with the same or different mobile company free of charge. It is never too late to upgrade later. Do note that all SMS and data plans below last for 1 month only except for Orange Tempo Touch.

Out of Bundle Rate

The prepaid plans in Belgium are sometimes bundled together with free SMS and data volume for one month. Some plans come with free calling minutes as well. What remains one month later is termed as “Out of Bundle” rate.

The tariff for “Out of Bundle” rate is usually €0.30/min, €0.10 to €0.15/SMS and €0.10 to €0.50/MB of data surfed when you have used up the bonus or when they expire, whichever comes first. You will receive the bonus again for your next top-up.


Best Prepaid SIM Card Belgium

Consider the following points based on the analysis of these five mobile operators to get the prepaid SIM card plan most suitable for your need.

» Do you want to call more or do you want to surf more?

» Credit that lasts for one year is usually charged at €0.30/min for a call. On the other hand, call time that is charged cheaper per minute has credits that expire in 4 to 6 months’ time.

» Depending on the mobile service provider, the validity of the credit lasts between 4 to 12 months before the next recharge. If you do not call often or not in Belgium most of the time, it is recommended to take a prepaid plan that can last 1 year without topping up.

» If you prefer to top up online, check that your credit or debit card from your home country can be accepted by the mobile company. In Belgium, there is a restriction on the types of credit card accepted. Orange can only accept Belgian credit and debit card. Mobile Vikings cannot accept credit cards from my home country too.

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Proximus

The Belgian Government is the major shareholder of Proximus who owns 53.51% of the company share at the point of writing this article. Pride itself as being “an impatient network”, Proximus (previously known as Belgacom Group) beats Orange Network in territory coverage by merely 0.05%.

Pay&Go
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 1033 mins + 10 mins▴500▴100 MB
€ 1550 mins + 20 mins▴Unlimited▴250 MB
€ 2583 mins + 50 mins▴Unlimited▴500 MB
Call Time▴Bonus is valid for 31 days
Top up ONLINE to quintuple your data volume
(100 MB 500 MB, 250 MB 3 GB, 500 MB 5 GB)
<3 GB extra if you trade in €12 of your call credit>
• Credit is valid for 12 months.
• Out of Bundle Rate: €0.30/min, €0.12/SMS and  €0.50/MB.





Orange

Formerly known as Mobistar, Orange started in 1996 and was a joint venture between France and Belgium Telecoms. Mobistar changed its name to Orange following the footstep of its parent company in France (Orange S. A.) in France after rebranding.

From the 4G mobile coverage statistic quoted above, Orange has the highest reliability rate of a marginal win over Proximus and BASE.

The current website language and its customers’ online portal service are available only in Dutch or French. It does not support the English language at the moment. If you do not understand Dutch and French languages, use a translation tool.

Fortunately, the menu on the phone has the English language as an option after inserting a SIM card. Or, you can simply walk into Orange outlet and ask for assistance.

Orange has three types of prepaid plans currently. Please take note for an online top-up, only credit cards issued in Belgium can be accepted. The credit is valid for one year for all their plans.

Tempo Giga
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 1033 mins500750 MB
€ 1550 mins40004 GB
€ 2066 mins50005 GB
€ 5082 mins60006 GB
Call Time▴Bonus is valid for 31 days
Top up online to receive 4 GB data for € 15
<8 GB extra if you trade in €15 of your call credit via My Orange App or call #123*44# option 5 – Promo valid till 4 March 2020>
• Tempo Giga is suitable for users who want to surf more than they call.
• Credit is valid for 12 months.
• Out of Bundle Rate: €0.30/min, €0.10/SMS, €0.50/MB and €0.24/MMS.

 

Tempo Touch
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 1040 minsUnlimited100 MB
€ 1560 minsUnlimited1 GB + 
€ 2080 minsUnlimited1.5 GB + 
€ 50120 minsUnlimited3 GB + 
Call Time▴Bonus is valid for 31 days
Additional 500 MB data for Facebook and Twitter
Tempo Touch is suitable for users who want to call more than surfing the net.
• Additional 500 MB data for Facebook and Twitter from € 15 top-up.
• Credit is valid for 12 months.
• Out of Bundle Rate: €0.25/min, €0.12/SMS, €0.24/MMS and  €0.50/MB.
*At the moment, Tempo Touch plan is not available. We will see if Orange will continue with this package at a later time.

 

 

Tempo Easy
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 10100 mins OR100 SMS OR100 MB
€ 15150 mins OR150 SMS OR150 MB
€ 20200 mins OR200 SMS OR200 MB
€ 50500 mins OR500 SMS OR500 MB
• Tempo Easy is suitable for users who want to make a lot of calls more than they send texts and surf.
• Pay only what you use – Out of Bundle Rate
• Credit is valid for 12 months.
• Out of Bundle Rate: €0.10/min, €0.10/SMS, €0.10/MB and €0.10/MMS.

Orange Holiday SIM


BASE

Telenet Group Holding recently acquired BASE on 11 February 2016 for 1,325 million. It is the third-largest mobile operator in Belgium. The strength of its territory coverage is the Northern part of Belgium, which is the Flanders. The BASE telco has the most number of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) under its sphere.

Before I confuse you with the two tables below, BASE has only one type of mobile prepaid plan. The two networks below indicate the different bonus that users will receive when they call a BASE user or to other telco network users.

To BASE Network
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 1033 mins + 60 mins▴250500 MB
€ 1550 mins + 120 mins▴10001 GB
€ 2066 mins + 240 mins▴Unlimited2 GB
To All Other Mobile Networks
€ 1033 mins + 30 mins▴250500 MB
€ 1550 mins + 60 mins▴10001 GB
€ 2066 mins + 120 mins▴Unlimited2 GB
Call Time▴Bonus is valid for 31 days
Reload online to double up your data
(500 MB 1 GB, 1 GB 2 GB, 2 GB 4GB)
• BASE prepaid card plan is more suitable for users who want to call and text more than surfing the net.
• Credit is valid for 12 months.
• Out of Bundle rate – €0.30/min, €0.12/SMS, €0.50/MB and €0.25/MMS.


 

 


Mobile Vikings

Mobile Vikings managed by VikingCo was previously 50% owned by the company, BASE. BASE then sold its share to Medialaan on 11 February 2016 on the same day after its acquisition by Telenet Group Holding. Medialaan also got hold of the remaining 50% share of VikingCo. Medialaan is now the sole owner of VikingCo. Mobile Viking under its wings continues to operate on BASE network infrastructure.

Mobile Vikings have two types of mobile prepaid plans for users who want to CALL more or SURF more. As Mobile Vikings have no physical stores and thus, lower maintenance cost, the saving is passed to the consumers by offering more call time and astonishing data volume among its competitors.

On the downside, you cannot walk into the shop anytime to ask for information quickly. I sent Mobile Vikings a few emails to test their response time. They replied back on the same day or the next day on my three email enquiries.

Not a bad record considering some mobile service providers took more than a week to reply back or had absolutely no response. Despite the disadvantage of not having a shopfront, many users in the forum gave positive reviews and recommended Mobile Vikings specifically for their generous amount of data volume promotion.

More Calls
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 1050 minsUnlimited500 MB
€ 15100 minsUnlimited2 GB
€ 20133 minsUnlimited3 GB
€ 25200 minsUnlimited4 GB
More Data
CreditCall TimeSMSData
€ 1025 minsUnlimited1 GB
€ 1550 minsUnlimited4 GB
€ 2067 minsUnlimited6 GB
€ 25100 minsUnlimited8 GB
Call Time▴Bonus is valid for 1 month
Unlimited calls to Mobile Vikings users for both plans
• The first minute is fully charged for all calls. After that, per-second billing.
• Credit is valid for 6 months.
• Out of Bundle rate – €0.20/min (More Calls) and €0.40/min for (More Data), €0.10/SMS and €0.10/MB.





Lycamobile

Lycamobile is an MVNO operating under Orange network infrastructure. It packages itself with highly competitive national and international calling rates to some countries, such as Brazil (€0.01/min), China (€0.02/min), Turkey (€0.04/min), Morocco (€0.06/min) and Mali (€0.06/min). In fact, one might feel overwhelmed when presented with a wide selection of mobile plans online. The Lycamobile prepaid card is mainly targetted at those that need to make a lot of overseas calls to get the best deal.




How to Top-Up Lycamobile Prepaid Card?

For their prepaid plan, one can order a free SIM card online. There are a few options for mobile top-up after you receive the SIM card.

  1. Top-up credits of €10, €20 or €30 online.
  2. Purchase a Top-Up Voucher from any participating retail outlets by following the dialling instructions on the Top-Up Voucher to activate the PIN Code. The retail outlets can be seen easily on the streets such as ‘dag winkel’ (day shop) or ‘nacht winkel’ (night shop) with the Lycamobile signage displayed outside the shops prominently.
  3. Call the Hotline to top up.
National Rate (Standard Pay as You Go Rates)
Landlines9 cents/min
Belgium Mobile (Lycamobile)*Free
Belgium SMS (Lycamobile)*Free
Belgium Mobile (Other Networks)15 cents/min
Belgium SMS (Other Networks)15 cents/SMS
Internet / Data12 cents/MB
• A connection charge of 19 cents applies to other mobile networks except for the one marked * which is to Lycamobile network.
• Credit is valid for 4 months.

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Summary: Comparison Tables for 5 Belgium Mobile Operators

Unit Rate (Out of Bundle)
Co/ ValidityMthsPer MinPer SMSPer MB
Proximus12€0.30€0.12€0.50
Orange12€0.10 – €0.30€0.10 / €0.12€0.10 / €0.50
Base12€0.30€0.12€0.50
Vikings6€0.20 / €0.40€0.10€0.10
Lycamobile4Free / €0.15Free / €0.15€0.50
The table above is a summary of the standard tariff (Out of Bundle rate) on the selected plan.

 

Internet Data Volume (Valid for 1 Month)
€10€15€20€25
Proximus100 / 200MB250 / 500MBN. A. 500MB / 1GB
Orange100 / 750MB150MB – 4GB200MB – 5GB N. A.
Base100 / 150 MB500 / 750 MB1 / 1.5GB N. A.
Vikings500MB / 1GB2 / 4GBN. A. 3 / 6GB
LycamobileNot Applicable (N. A.)
The summary table above is an overview of how much data one gets in a bundle for purchasing the credit amount stated.

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The most prepaid card internet data found in Belgium is Mobile Viking, 8GB data at €25 whereas SimOptions Smart Silver for 10GB is only €29.90. The best seller is Smart Comfort 20GB at €49.90. So, get the delivery of the Best Europe Sim Card right to your doorstep now!

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Registration of Prepaid SIM Card Required by Law

The Government wants to prevent the misuse of unregistered mobile numbers anonymously as a measure to counter-terrorism. Hence, every recharge must link to an identifiable person. All operators are required by law to register new prepaid cards from 17 December 2016. Before this date, anyone can buy a prepaid SIM card in the store without any other form of registration.

Existing prepaid card users must register their personal detail with the service provider before 7 June 2017. The registration can be done online (if this service is available) or in a store with your eID, passport or other forms of identification card. Thus, the mobile number not registered within the stipulated time will be disconnected and no longer be able to use the service.

On the other hand, consumers that have automatic top-up may not be required to register as their personal detail could already be inside the database. The same roaming benefit might not apply to the United Kingdom after the Brexit in spring 2019. Refer to more questions and answers in the European Commissioner.





EU Roaming Charges Abolished

Starting 15 June 2017, EU roaming charges are scrapped. It means that whenever you make a call or use mobile data when travelling abroad to 28 EU countries, you will not incur additional charges. It is a piece of good news for non-EU travellers as they can buy one prepaid SIM card and use the mobile data roaming in many European countries.

These are the 28 countries which the EU roaming charges are abolished: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and in the countries of the European Economic Area: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway. If you need a SIM Card that covers more than these 28 countries, you have to check out this Europe Sim Card.

The same roaming benefit may not apply to the United Kingdom after the Brexit in spring 2019. Refer to more frequently asked questions from the European Commission.

Leave us a comment about the current mobile service provider or plan that you are using. Are you happy with it?




About Live in Belgium

Hello, my name is MissSJ. I am a Singaporean. I am living with my Belgian partner since July 2016 in a cosmopolitan city, Antwerp. However, I had been travelling to and fro Belgium since 2011 as a tourist. The creation of this blog is to document my new journey in Belgium which I would like to call 'home'. Join me in discovering fascinating Belgium from the eyes of an expat.

6 comments

  1. I like more Carrefour Mobile. Vectone Mobile is fake. I recharge my vectone and I can not used sim card of vectone.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Carrefour Mobile is a reputable company so the SIM cards that they are selling should not have any problem. Even if it has, you can always make a complaint and get it replaced.

  2. Hi Miss SJ, I bought a SIM card (Tempo Giga) from Orange two months ago and wonder if I am top up online with an international cc?

    • Hi Wendy, do you mean an international ‘credit card’? No, I don’t think you can because I have the same Orange Tempo Giga card as you and I could not top up with my Singapore credit card either. You can only top up with a card issued by the Belgian bank. I also had read the same clause somewhere on the Orange website.

  3. Mobile Vikings asks for 15 euros when a new number is ordered. Do you know if 15 euros can be used for purchasing bundles or do we need to pay more?

    • Hi Elif, €15 is the activation cost for a new Sim Card which includes delivery no matter which plans you choose – Prepaid or Subscription. You have to top up the amount of your selected plan after receiving your prepaid card.

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